Senior guards Daryl Macon and Jaylen Barford combined for 49 points, and Arkansas took control in the second half to roll to an 81-65 victory over South Carolina in a key Southeastern Conference matchup Tuesday night in Fayetteville, Ark.
The Razorbacks (16-8, 5-6 SEC) outscored the Gamecocks (13-11, 4-7) 25-23 over a 12-minute span from the last five minutes of the first half into the second to assume a 59-46 cushion.
The Gamecocks managed to close the deficit to 60-54 before the Hogs scored the next nine points. Arkansas eased in from there, with its biggest margin being the final score.
Macon led all scorers with 25 points and Barford, who came into the game averaging a league-best 19.9 points in SEC play, scored 24.
Guard Hassani Gravett led the Gamecocks, who have lost their past four games, with 12 points as their top two scorers, forward Chris Silva (14.7 points per game) and guard Frank Booker (11.3 ppg) were held to eight and four, respectively.
The two teams went back and forth in the first half with the Gamecocks pulling out to a 16-11 lead in the first six minutes before a flagrant foul on South Carolina’s David Beatty gave the Razorbacks the opportunity for four consecutive points.
Runs of 8-0 and 8-1 put the Razorbacks up 31-24 with 7:28 left in the first half. The Gamecocks cut that back down to 34-33 over the next two minutes, but the Hogs were back up 43-38 at the intermission.
Both teams shot well in the first half with the Gamecocks 11 of 24 from the field and the Hogs 15 of 31, but both also had problems handling the basketball. The Gamecocks had 10 turnovers over the first 20 minutes, the Hogs 12.
Macon opened the second half with a 3-pointer and assisted on forward Daniel Gafford’s dunk to spur the Razorbacks to a double-digit lead, 48-38, less than two minutes into the second half.
Arkansas wound up shooting 47.2 percent from the floor to South Carolina’s 41.2 percent.
--Field Level Media