Halftime: South Carolina 38, Alabama 27

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- So much for Alabama playing some of its best basketball of the season.

In the first half Thursday of the first SEC tournament game, the Crimson Tide looked like they wanted to be anywhere but Nashville. That’s after Alabama coach Anthony Grant said on the eve of the tournament that his team was starting to get it and playing some of its best ball.

South Carolina took a 38-27 lead over Alabama into halftime after thoroughly outplaying the Crimson Tide.

The story for the Gamecocks, who outscored the Tide 11-3 over the last five minutes, was junior forward Sam Muldrow, who did play some of his best basketball of the season. He had 13 points and blocked two shots and took it to the Crimson Tide inside.

Muldrow and senior point guard Devan Downey combined for 25 of South Carolina’s 38 points.

Needless to say, Alabama has to do a better job against both players in the second half.