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Murray-Boyles scores 24 as No. 15/16 South Carolina beats Arkansas 80-66 at SEC Tourney
Men's Basketball  . 

Murray-Boyles scores 24 as No. 15/16 South Carolina beats Arkansas 80-66 at SEC Tourney

South Carolina Athletics

Freshman star continues on 11-game tear as team wins first SEC Tournament game since 2018 and matches 2016-17 team for single-season wins record with 26

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Collin Murray-Boyles scored 24 points and No. 15 South Carolina beat Arkansas 80-66 on Thursday at the Southeastern Conference Tournament.

South Carolina (26-6), the No. 5 seed, took control of a back-and-forth game with a 16-0 run spanning halftime to put the Gamecocks into Friday’s quarterfinals against No. 12 Auburn, the fourth seed.

The Gamecocks gave AP SEC coach of the year Lamont Paris his first conference tourney win, and they tied the 2017 Final Four team for most wins in program history. Paris’ performance already has earned him a big pay raise and extension, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press.

B.J. Mack added 19 points for South Carolina, which won its first game at this tournament since beating Ole Miss in the opening round of 2018. Ta’Lon Cooper scored 11 points.

Khalif Battle led 12th-seeded Arkansas with 20 points. Makhi Mitchell added 15 and Jalen Graham had 11.

Arkansas (16-17) faced a quick turnaround after rallying from a 14-point halftime deficit Wednesday night to beat Vanderbilt 90-85. The Razorbacks jumped out to an 11-3 lead before South Carolina got going with Murray-Boyle leading the way.

The Gamecocks scored the final six points, capped by Johnson beating the buzzer driving for a layup out of a timeout with 4.3 seconds left, to take a 38-35 halftime lead.

South Carolina then opened the second half by scoring the first 10 points. The Gamecocks led by 21 in the final minutes.




  • South Carolina scored a season-high 52 points in the paint surpassing the previous high of 44 against Mississippi State on Mar. 9, 2024, in the team’s 93-89 (OT) victory in Starkville. Carolina shot 52.5 percent from the field making 32-of-61 attempts.


  • All-SEC Freshman Team forward Collin Murray-Boyles led all scorers with 24 points on 11-of-15 shooting. It marks his 13th game in double-figures this season and his fifth leading the team in points. He added seven rebounds and two assists in 30 minutes of action.
  • His 11 made field goals mark a new school record in SEC Tournament action.
  • Over his last 11 games dating back to a win at Georgia on Feb. 3, he’s averaged 16.7 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.1 blocks per game. The Columbia, S.C., native is shooting 70.3 percent (78-of-111) from the field in the stretch and 82.4 percent (28-of-34) at the free throw line.
  • Graduate forward B.J. Mack scored 19 points on 5-of-9 shooting and led Carolina with nine rebounds. It is Mack’s 20th game scoring in double-digits this season and his ninth leading the team on the glass. Mack made all seven of his attempts at the free throw line.
  • Sophomore guard Zachary Davis led Carolina with four assists. It is his second game this season leading the team in helpers.
  • Three Gamecocks scored in double-figures: Murray-Boyles (24), Mack (19), and All-SEC Second Team guard Ta’Lon Cooper (11).
  • The Gamecocks shot 52.5 percent today, going 32-of-61 from the floor. The 32 made field goals are a new school record in SEC Tournament play.
  • It’s the eighth time Carolina has shot above 50.0 percent this season and the team improves to 8-0 in those games.
  • Carolina has held 25 opponents to less than 70 points this season, which is T-5th nationally land leads the SEC. The Gamecocks have held 14 league opponents below 70 points, which leads the SEC in front of Tennessee (10), Texas A&M (9) and Auburn (8). Carolina entered first in the SEC in scoring defense (33rd nationally) at 66.4 ppg.
  • Carolina has had 15 single-digit turnover games this season which surpassed the 2007-08 team for the most single-digit giveaways by a Gamecock team since entering the SEC in 1991-92. The team improves to 15-5 over the past two seasons under Paris when having single digit turnovers.
  • Carolina improves to 19-1 this season when out-rebounding its opponents and 21-0 when scoring 70 or more points.
  • The win gives head coach Lamont Paris his 26th victory this season, the most by a second-year head coach in program history. George Felton is second behind Paris with 19 wins in his second season (1987-88).
  • The 26 victories tie the 2016-17 Final Four team for the most in program history.
  • The victory is the first career SEC Tournament win for the SEC’s 2024 Coach of the Year, Lamont Paris. It is also the first win for Carolina in the tournament since defeating Ole Miss 85-84 in the opening round on March 7, 2018, in St. Louis at the Scottrade Center (now Enterprise Center).


The Gamecocks (26-6, 13-5 SEC) will face No. 12/12 Auburn (24-7, 13-5 SEC), the four seed for the SEC Tournament, in the SEC Quarterfinals. Estimated tip-off is 3:30 p.m. (ET). Karl Ravech (pxp), Jimmy Dykes (analyst) and Marty Smith (sideline) will remain on the call for the ESPN broadcast.