After reeling off four straight wins and playing for as high as a 5-seed in the SEC Tournament, the Hogs came into this regular season finale with South Carolina with plenty of momentum. Unfortunately, they waited far too late to play like it.
Arkansas came out flatter than flat, whatever that is. I don't know if they didn't buy into playing for a possible NIT bid or if they'd decided to go all-or-nothing for an SEC Tournament Championship and NCAA Tournament bid, but they didn't play like they wanted anything to do with this game until ten or eleven minutes were left to play. The Gamecocks built a 27-point lead in the second half, and once the Hogs decided to get back into it, it was well beyond the point of no return.
South Carolina dominated the Hogs on the glass, 41-26, points in the paint, 40-20, and second-chance points, 13-5. The effort just wasn't there until it was too late. The Hogs were able to bring Bud Walton to its feet for a while in the second half, cutting the 27-point lead to 9 a couple of times in the second half, but it wasn't enough.
Arkansas' stars did what they normally do. Anthlon Bell and Dusty Hannahs each scored 16 points and Moses Kingsley scored 13. Jabril Durham handed out 11 assists on his senior day. Unfortunately, they didn't get a lot of help from anybody else. The rest of the starters and entire bench combined for just 16 points. The team missed layups, bobbled passes, and failed to convert most of the scoring opportunities given to them. Meanwhile, Sindarius Thornwell led the way for South Carolina with 22 points, 11 rebounds, and 6 assists.
The Hogs would have had a shot at the 5- or 6-seed with a win, but the loss pushes them all the way to the 8/9 game at the SEC Tournament this week. They'll play Florida in the first game if the Gators beat Missouri later tonight or Alabama if the Tigers can pull off the upset.