For the first time in a while, it felt like Arkansas put together a solid 40 minutes in all phases and it showed on the scoreboard as the Hogs topped South Carolina 81-65. Arkansas never had a long scoring drought offensively, and forced the Gamecocks into missing eight straight shots while the Hogs extended their lead.
The dynamic duo of Jaylen Barford and Daryl Macon combined for 49 points. Defensively, Arkansas held South Carolina to 10/27 shooting in the second half. The Gamecocks are one of the most blocked teams in the country and it showed with both Daniel Gafford and Trey Thompson getting three blocks apiece. He didn’t show up on the scoresheet, but Gabe Osabuohien got his first SEC minutes and made the most of them, playing tough defense, grabbing rebounds, and having a couple assists.
It was Arkansas’ first SEC home game in over two weeks and the players said how important that was postgame. Even though the crowd was a smaller one due to poor weather, they clearly fed off the energy. That energy led to 18 forced turnovers, the most Arkansas has forced in SEC play this year.
Now comes the most important part, doing this consistently. Next up is a Vanderbilt team who is fading fast in the SEC rear view mirror with their best player out injured. Putting back to back performances like this will be crucial for their confidence with a tough stretch to close the year. That means more turnovers, hopefully more Osabuohien, and active defending.