for this game

Riley leads second-half comeback over South Carolina

Feb 3, 2007 - 11:29 PM TUSCALOOSA, Alabama (Ticker) -- Mykal Riley's monster second half made all the difference for Alabama.

Riley scored 14 of his 15 points in the second half to lead the 20th-ranked Crimson Tide to a 64-61 triumph over South Carolina in a Southeastern Conference battle.

Alabama (17-5, 4-4 SEC West) battled back from a six-point deficit at halftime as Riley scored 10 points during a key 13-6 run to give the Crimson Tide a 51-50 lead with 7:08 to play. It was their first lead since 16-15 with 6:41 to play in the first half.

"At the end of the game, I thought our defense won the game for us," Alabama coach Mark Gottfried said. "We have to improve and sustain our defense for 40 minutes, and it can't be here and there."

Brandon Hollinger's two free throws with 11 seconds left extended the lead to 63-58 and sealed the game.

Richard Hendrix scored 14 points and grabbed 15 rebounds and Alonzo Gee added 12 points for the Crimson Tide, who shot 42 percent (23-of-55) from the field. It was Hendrix's 10th double-double of the season and 17th for his career.

"I thought Richard Hendrix today offensively with the rebounding he had and defensively blocking some shots and making some key plays was huge," Gottfried said. "A lot of guys stepped up and played well."

South Carolina (12-9, 2-6 East) led, 28-26, with 3:03 left in the opening half and scored the final four points capped by Tre Kelley's layup with 21 seconds remaining to go to halftime with a 32-26 advantage.

"We really didn't get into a good flow because of South Carolina," Gottfried said. "The way they changed their defenses didn't let us get into a steady flow with our offense. They did a good job keeping you off-balance."

Bryce Sheldon scored 17 points for the Gamecocks, who shot 46 percent (24-of-52) and were outrebounded, 35-27.

Alabama has now won six of the last eight matchups against South Carolina.