NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Trevor Lacey scored 15 points, JaMychal Green added 12 and Alabama played lockdown defense in the final six minutes to beat South Carolina 63-57 in the opening round of the Southeastern Conference tournament on Thursday.
The fifth-seeded Crimson Tide led for most of the game, but South Carolina tied it at 51 on the second of back-to-back 3-pointers by Brenton Williams with 6:38 remaining. Alabama (21-10) then held 12th-seeded South Carolina (10-21) scoreless for more than five minutes and did enough on offense to ease past the Gamecocks.
South Carolina lost 11 of 12 games to end the season. Alabama won for the fifth time in six games and advances to play Florida in the quarterfinals on Friday.