Ellington beats buzzer, gives Gamecocks first SEC victory

Bruce Ellington’s basket with one second left helped South Carolina avoid its worst start to Southeastern Conference play in more than two decades with a 56-54 victory over visiting Alabama on Wednesday.

Malik Cooke, who scored a game-high 18 points, swiped the ball from Trevor Releford to give the Gamecocks a chance to win it in regulation and Ellington delivered. The sophomore drove the lane and banked in a scoop shot off the glass for his only basket of the second half.

Neither team led by more than five points in the game which featured 13 ties and 11 lead changes, including seven of each in the second half.

Ellington and Damontre Harris each added 12 points for South Carolina (9-10, 1-4 SEC), which avoided its first 0-5 start to conference play since 1988-89.

The Crimson Tide (13-7, 2-5) lost their fourth straight SEC game thanks to a poor offensive effort. Releford, who had averaged a team-high 15.5 points over the previous eight games, scored only two.

Alabama briefly lost leading scorer JaMychal Green to a left ankle injury. Green returned after a trip to the locker room, but did not score after the injury and finished with six points.

 

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