Gamecocks Stumble at Arkansas
Feb. 9, 2012
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - No. 24 South Carolina dropped a tough 68-47 decision at Arkansas on Thursday night at Bud Walton Arena. The Gamecocks (18-6, 7-4 SEC) struggled shooting the ball and could not stop a streaking Razorback offense that stretched its win streak to seven games.
The Gamecock offense could not get going in the first half. Things started right where they left off last week with a Markeshia Grant 3-pointer, but Arkansas rolled off the next 14 points as South Carolina turned it over four times in seven possessions. Aleighsa Welch stopped the streak with a drive. La'Keisha Sutton swiped a steal on the other end and took a hard foul on the resulting breakaway. Shaken but undeterred, she hit both free throws to pull within 14-7 13:05 to go in the half.
After the Razorback stretched their lead back to double digits at 22-8, Welch again stopped the bleeding. Tina Roy's 3-pointer from the left wing cut the deficit to 22-13 with seven minutes left in the opening stanza. Arkansas responded with a 9-0 surge as South Carolina continued to struggle from the field, ending the half shooting just 26.1 percent from the field in the half. Still, it was largely the 14 turnovers, which yielded 13 Arkansas points, that left the Gamecocks trailing 33-17 at halftime.
The second half was similar to the first with the Razorbacks answering any Gamecock advances with more extended surges. South Carolina's shooting improved as the Gamecocks finished the game hitting 34.5 percent from the field, but it was not enough to overcome the Razorbacks, who posted 48.1 percent shooting, including 34 points in the paint.
Ieasia Walker was the lone Gamecock in double figures, scoring 11 points while handing out three assists. Welch, Ashley Bruner and Charenee Stephens tied for high-rebound honors with five apiece. Stephens added a season-high three blocks, which tied her career high.
South Carolina returns to Colonial Life Arena to face Florida on Sun., Feb. 12. Tipoff is at 5 p.m. for the ESPN2 broadcasted contest, which is also the Gamecocks' Play 4Kay (formerly WBCA Pink Zone) game to raise awareness for the fight against breast cancer.