Columbia, S.C. -
The South Carolina women's basketball team claimed a 61-52 win over Arkansas Sunday at the Colonial Center.
With the win, the Gamecocks improved to 11-8 overall and 2-5 in the Southeastern Conference, while Arkansas dipped to 13-7 overall and 5-2 in the SEC.
South Carolina was led by Melanie Johnson, who scored 15 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Johnson's point total Sunday marked her season high against an SEC opponent this year. Demetress Adams added eight points, with Lea Fabbri adding 12. Danielle Allen and Leslie Howard led the way for the Razorbacks, with Allen scoring 12 and Howard adding 13.
Sunday's game featured a stark difference in personnel, as the South Carolina roster is dotted by eight players standing 6-0 or taller, while only one Arkansas player is taller than 6-0. Not surprisingly, the Gamecocks repeatedly went inside to capitalize on its pronounced height advantage. Of Carolina's 61 total points, 46 were scored in the paint. Entering Sunday's contest, the Gamecocks owned a 9-2 record when scoring 30 or more points in the paint.
Shooting 30.5 percent from the field Sunday, Arkansas became the 13th of Carolina's 19 opponents this year to be limited below its season average, as the Hogs came into the game shooting 40.0 percent from the field.
With Carolina going inside as often as it did Sunday, the Gamecocks did not make any three pointers, snapping a streak that dated back to November of 2001 of 136 consecutive games with a three-pointer.
The Gamecocks took a 29-25 lead into the locker room at halftime. Entering Sunday's game, Carolina owned a 10-3 record when leading at the break. The Gamecocks converted on 13 of their 24 field goal attempts in the first half (.560 pct.), marking the sixth time this season that Carolina shot 50 percent or better from the field in the first half. The duo of Adams and Johnson led the way for the Gamecocks in the opening 20 minutes, with Adams scoring six points and Johnson adding seven of her own.
Entering Sunday's game, Carolina emerged victorious in three of its last four meetings with Arkansas played in Columbia.
Following a mid-week break, the Gamecocks return to action when they face Mississippi State in Starkville at 3 p.m. Eastern time on Sunday, Feb. 5. The game will be broadcast live on 1320 WISW-AM radio in Columbia, with Andy Demetra handling play-by-play and Robin Muller providing analysis.