Alabama kept it interesting before finishing off South Carolina in the first round of the SEC tournament, 63-57 in New Orleans Arena.
Freshman Trevor Lacey scored seven of his team-high 15 in the final three minutes. That included the Crimson Tide’s only 3-pointer of the game with 1:00 left that put Alabama up 58-53.
The Tide (21-10) scored 15 at the free-throw line in the second half and just 11 from the field on 5-of-14 shooting.
South Carolina (10-21) got as close as three in the second half after trailing by 14 in the first before Alabama iced it at the line. Levi Randolph and Lacey made 4 of 5 free throws in the closing minute to hold off the Gamecocks.
Up next for the Tide is No. 4-seed Florida at 2:30 p.m. Friday in New Orleans. The Gators beat the Tide 61-52 on Feb. 14 in Tuscaloosa.
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