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.
- Over the last three games, Thornwell has scored 99 points (33.0 avg.).
- Thornwell now has 26 career games with 20-plus points after scoring 27 tonight. With his 10 made field goals in the game, he now has four games this season with nine-plus makes from the field.
- With the loss, the Gamecocks record on the season falls to 4-5 when trailing at the half. Carolina is 15-1 this season when leading at the half.
- Silva matched his career-high with 16 points tonight. It marked the fourth time this season he has scored 16 with all four coming in SEC play.
- Dozier matched a career-high with six assists. He previously had six assists vs. South Carolina State back on Nov. 18 this season.
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.
TWEET OF THE GAME