Arkansas led for most of the first half, but a red hot South Carolina team was too much for the Hogs to handle as they fell on the road 77-65. The loss in itself isn’t a major disappointment but with the context of how the game went it definitely feels worse than it will look on the resume. The Hogs had a lead in the second half but Carolina eight of their last nine shots of the game and were 15/21 to finish things out.
Arkansas had to play nearly the entire half without Gafford, who picked up two fouls in the first five minutes of the game. Arkansas had a 10-3 lead at that point but was able to keep their distance for the remainder of the half. Leading the rest of the way until they had a 35-31 half time lead.
A big part of that was the defensive pressure. Arkansas forced South Carolina into 15 first half turnovers and Arkansas shot 12 more times as a result. The Hogs led by as much as 12 in that half, before the Gamecocks were able to get loose and hit a few threes.
The second half started incredibly well for the Hogs who built their lead and had their biggest of the game after Adrio Bailey but a Gamecock on a poster.
Adrio doesn’t care. Well done @adriobailey pic.twitter.com/F5TcwJWI9I— Tyler Taake (@ShakeNTaake) February 9, 2019
From there things fell apart for the Hogs. South Carolina immediately followed that with a 20-4 run and outscored the Hogs 40-15 after that. Arkansas closed the game shooting 5/16 from the field and the team looked absolutely gassed. All of the defensive pressure in the first half wore them down, and as is usually the case with unexperienced teams, they couldn’t sustain the level of play for a full 40 minutes.
Arkansas is now 5-5 in SEC play, and a win against Missouri in the next game will make this two game road trip a success. The formula in conference play is win your home games and split the road ones. If the Hogs split this two game trip they’re in solid shape heading back to Bud Walton.