Feb. 15, 2017
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- No. 21/19 South Carolina's (20-6, 10-3 SEC) comeback fell short at home Wednesday night, as the team suffered an 83-76 loss to Arkansas (19-7, 8-5 SEC). Senior Sindarius Thornwell had 25-plus for the third straight game, finishing with 27 points to lead all scorers. He went 10-for-19 from the field, setting a new career high with his 10 made field goals.
The Gamecocks attacked the hoop early, scoring 10 of their first 14 points in the paint en route to building a 14-9 lead at the first media timeout with 15:14 to go. Carolina started 6-for-9 from the field (67 percent). The lead grew to 19-5 with 14:18 left after a quick 5-0 run was capped by a steal and dunk by senior Duane Notice.
Arkansas responded with an 8-0 run to cut the lead to 19-13 at the next media timeout with 11:38 on the clock. The Razorbacks extended the run to 15-0 after a transition 3-pointer by Daryl Macon. The 3-point basket gave the Razorbacks their first lead of the game 20-19, forcing Frank Martin to take a timeout with 9:20 to go.
Thornwell scored with 8:33 left to snap a nearly six-minute scoring draught for the Gamecocks. Arkansas responded on the ensuing possession to take a 22-21 lead with 7:49 left at the under-eight media timeout.
A 3 by Jaylen Barford, his 13th point of the half, extended the Razorbacks' run to 20-2, giving them a 28-21 lead with 6:25 left in the half. Arkansas scored on the next possession to open its biggest lead of the game 30-21. Carolina responded with an 8-0 run to make it 30-29, as Thornwell scored through contact just before the under four media timeout with 3:36 on the clock. The Lancaster, S.C., native, completed the and-1, sinking the free throw out of the timeout to tie the game 30-30.
The Razorbacks closed the opening half on a 9-2 run to take a 39-32 lead at halftime. They shot 56 percent (15-for-27) to start the game, led by Barford's 17 first-half points. Thornwell led the way with 12 at the break for the Gamecocks. Sophomore PJ Dozier had seven and Notice had six points, as Carolina shot 37 percent (13-for-25) from the field in the opening half.
Arkansas' hot shooting continued in the second half as they started 4-for-6 (67 percent) and led 49-41 at the first media timeout with 15:46 to go. Senior Justin McKie knocked down a big 3 from the corner that got the crowd back into it. The long-ball brought Carolina within five, 55-50, with 12:26 on the clock, forcing Anderson to take a timeout. Thornwell then blocked a shot on the next possession that deflected to Notice. He found Thornwell up ahead in transition, leading to a monster dunk that pulled the Gamecocks within three, 55-52, at the under 12 media timeout with 11:42 remaining in the game.
Carolina cut it to one, but the Razorbacks went up by seven, 64-57, at the under eight media timeout with 7:43 remaining in the game. The teams then exchanged makes back-and-forth the next few minutes. Notice drew contact in the lane and scored to make it 73-68 at the final media timeout with 3:57 left. He made the free throw to pull the Gamecocks within four, 73-69.
Thornwell willed Carolina within two, but the lead went back to four as Martin took a timeout with 2:25 to go. Freshman guard Rakym Felder brought Colonial Life Arena to its feet right out of the timeout with a deep 3 in front of the Gamecocks' bench to make it 75-74 with 2:19 left. The Razorbacks pulled back ahead by three, but sophomore PJ Dozier was able to cut through the defense to pull Carolina within one again, 77-76, with 1:03 left.
Arkansas scored with 29 seconds left as the shot clock expired to go up three. They then finished 4-for-4 at the free throw line to seal the win. Silva matched a career-high with 16 points. Notice finished with 14 to round out the Gamecocks in double figures.
The Razorbacks shot 54 percent (30-for-56) from the field in the game and over 50 percent in both the first (56 percent) and second (52 percent) half.
South Carolina will play its next two on the road, beginning a tough stretch on Saturday at Vanderbilt. The contest vs. the Commodores will tip at 8:30 p.m. ET on the SEC Network. Carolina continues road action just three days later at No. 15/13 Florida on Tuesday, Feb. 21. Tip time for that contest is set for 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.
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