Key takeaways, box score from Arkansas' 75-59 win over South Carolina
FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas dominated the final 20 minutes on its way to a third straight win Tuesday night.
After heading to the locker room trailing by seven, the Razorbacks opened the second half on an 18-1 run to take control of the game and cruised to a 75-59 win over South Carolina inside Bud Walton Arena.
With the win, Arkansas improved to 13-5 overall and 3-3 in SEC play, getting back to .500 after the 0-3 start.
“Really, really good defensive discipline in the second half compared to the first half,” head coach Eric Musselman said. “I thought we took care of the ball a little bit better in the second half, which alleviated some live-ball turnovers that I thought really hurt us in the first half.”
It was more than eight minutes into the second half before South Carolina finally made a field, as it missed its first 11 shots and turned the ball over six times during the stretch.
Meanwhile, the Razorbacks consistently got to the rim and six different players contributed to the aforementioned 18-1 run that turned a 7-point deficit into a 10-point lead.
“They just came at us,” South Carolina head coach Frank Martin said. “We just didn’t score in the second half. We scored 40 in the first half, 19 in the second. We just didn’t score.”
Although the Gamecocks managed to get back within five, that was as close as they’d get and Arkansas ended up leading by double digits for the final 5:31.
Here are a few other key takeaways from Tuesday’s victory…
Ugly First Half
A characteristic of Martin’s teams at South Carolina has been an ugly style of basketball and Arkansas certainly got a taste of that in the first half.
The Razorbacks shot just 9 of 29 (31.0%) from the floor and missed all seven of its 3-point attempts in the game’s first 20 minutes. They just couldn’t get much going offensively.
In fact, Arkansas held the Gamecocks scoreless for nearly 4.5 minutes in the middle of the half, but scored only seven points itself, taking just a 4-point lead after trailing by 3.
One major reason the Razorbacks went cold on the offensive end of the floor, other than South Carolina coming in with a top-40 adjusted defensive efficiency rating on KenPom, was that they played a good chunk of the half without its two best scorers for the night.
Jaylin Williams picked up his second foul with 11:52 left in the half and then JD Notae picked up his second at the 7:53 mark. Both of them were immediately subbed out and neither returned to the floor before halftime.
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