Jan. 10, 2010
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The women's basketball team dropped an 80-68 decision Sunday to South Carolina Sunday at Coleman Coliseum. With the loss, the Crimson Tide dips to 8-8 on the season and 0-3 against Southeastern Conference opponents, while the Gamecocks improve to 8-7 on the season and 1-2 versus league foes.
"The team is really working hard," head women's basketball coach Wendell Hudson said. "You can't take anything away from the way we're playing and you can't take anything away from our opponents. We're just in a situation where we go through those droughts of trying to score that are almost impossible to overcome against good basketball teams. It's not necessarily that we're scoring badly, because you look up there and we've got 68 points. It's when we're not scoring."
Senior Dedrea Magee led Alabama with 18 points, five rebounds and five assists. Also scoring in double figures was junior Varisia Raffington and sophomore Ericka Russell pouring in 18 and 14 points, respectively. This was the fifth game in the past seven that Raffington has posted a double-figure game. She now has 10 on the season.
After getting down by as many as 11 points in the first half, the Tide battled back to close the gap to just four points by halftime. Alabama was within three points of the lead early in the second half until the Gamecocks went on a crucial 19-9 run to extend their lead to 15 points with just under six minutes left.
"We started the second half down four," Hudson said. "We ran a little play and turned the ball over. Then they go down and score, and we get a wide open shot and we don't make it. Part of getting it done is thinking, `we're playing pretty good defense, let's get this ball in the basket.' You've got to go to the basket sometimes."
Alabama stayed close in the first half due to shooting 63.6 percent (14-of-22) from the field and 75 percent (3-of-4) from behind the arc. Unfortunately, the Tide dropped to 31.7 percent (13-of-41) from the field and 20 percent (1-of-5) from behind the arc in the second half.
Alabama struggled in containing the third-best three-point shooting team in the conference. The Gamecocks shot 66.7 percent (8-of-12) from behind the arc in the game.
South Carolina had five players score in double figures, led by junior Valerie Nainima who posted 21 points on 7-of-10 shooting. In addition, freshman Kelsey Bone collected a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds.
Alabama will look for its first SEC victory on Thursday, Jan. 14 against in-state rival Auburn. Tipoff is set for 6:00 p.m. in Auburn, Ala.