Feb 15, 2003
By JACOB JORDAN
Associated Press Writer
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Chris Warren scored a career-high 23 points including six second-half 3-pointers leading South Carolina to a 72-65 victory over Arkansas on Saturday afternoon.
Warren, who didn’t even attempt a 3-pointer in the first half and had just two points, made his most important long-range shot with 39.3 seconds left that put the Gamecocks (10-11, 3-7 Southeastern Conference) ahead 69-62.
Eric Ferguson finished with 20 points and Jonathan Modica added 17 for the Razorbacks (7-14, 2-8).
In an unlikely scenario in the final minute, 6-foot-10 Tony Kitchings drove the lane with the shot clock winding down and kicked out a pass to a wide-open Warren who nailed the 3. Kitchings finished with 15 points – 11 in the first half when the Gamecocks continuously pounded the ball inside.
South Carolina, which has won three in a row, led for most of the game until Ferguson hit two straight baskets to spark a 13-5 run that gave Arkansas a 57-56 lead with 5:18 to go. It was the Razorbacks first lead of the game since the opening two minutes.
But the Gamecocks pounded the ball inside, similar to the first half, and made key free throws down the stretch to get the win.
Chuck Eidson found Kitchings deep in the post and the senior center’s 3-point play put South Carolina up 64-59 with 2:18 to go.
Ferguson answered with a 3-pointer that brought the Razorbacks to within two, but on the next possession, Eidson again found Kitchings in the low post.
Kitchings was fouled and hit a free throw but missed his second attempt. Kerbrell Brown grabbed the offensive rebound and Eidson was later fouled. He hit one of two free throws before Arkansas’ Michael Jones missed a long-range jumper and then Warren hit his 3.
The Gamecocks outscored the Razorbacks 21-9 in the opening 8:28 of the second half before Arkansas fought back.