South Carolina never trailed Wednesday night against Arkansas. With a second remaining in the game, the Razorbacks still held the chance to win. It ended in a heartbreaking home loss for Arkansas as Isaiah Joe missed a game-winning three as time expired.
The Gamecocks started the game with an 8-0 run and held a 38-32 lead at halftime. Arkansas tied the game at 40 early in the second half, but could not pull ahead.
A dunk by sophomore AJ Lawson sealed a 15-3 run for the Gamecocks after the tie. They kept their lead over the Razorbacks the rest of the way, and won 79-77. South Carolina shot 50.9% from the field, its highest percentage for an SEC road game this season.
Lawson led the charge for the Gamecocks with 19 points and three triples. South Carolina added 36 points in the paint. Maik Kotsar, Trae Hannibal and Jair Bolden joined Lawson with double-digit point performances for South Carolina.
Jones ignites Razorbacks
Mason Jones played a pivotal role in keeping the game close for Arkansas. The junior guard scored a whopping 34 points, with a career-high 12 rebounds to boot. His 34 points marked his second highest total in his career.
Jones also knocked down a remarkable 15 of 16 free throws in a foul-ridden contest. 15 made free throws is the most by a Razorback since 1995.
9:03 | Jones. For. Three. He leads the way with 24.
Gamecocks: 61 pic.twitter.com/mRXhMEE9yr
— Arkansas Razorbacks Basketball (@RazorbackMBB) January 30, 2020
Joe added a spark off the bench for Arkansas. He finished with 16 points on five three-pointers.
Despite the performances of Jones and Joe, Arkansas failed to pull out the win. South Carolina’s dominance in transition played a large part. The Gamecocks scored 17 fast break points, which dwarfed the five scored by the Razorbacks in transition.
South Carolina improved to 12-8 and 4-3 in SEC play with the win. Arkansas fell to 15-5 and 3-4 in conference games.
Both teams return to action on Saturday. The Gamecocks hosts Missouri at 3:30 p.m. and the Razorbacks visit Tuscaloosa to battle Alabama at 5:00 p.m.