FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — A.J. Lawson scored 19 points for South Carolina and the Gamecocks never trailed but needed an Arkansas missed 3-pointer at the buzzer for a 79-77 victory on Wednesday night.
The Gamecocks (12-8, 4-3 Southeastern Conference) shot 51% from the field, using their size and strength advantage to the effect of 36 points in the paint. Maik Kotsar, Trae Hannibal and Jair Bolden joined Lawson in double figures, scoring 10, 11 and 12, respectively.
Mason Jones finished with 34 points and 12 rebounds to lead Arkansas (15-5, 3-4). Isaiah Joe, who missed Arkansas’ win on Saturday against TCU with knee inflammation, came off the bench to add 16 points.
The Razorbacks tied the game only once when Jones’ driving lay-up and subsequent free throw knotted it at 40-all with about 19 minutes left. South Carolina made five of its next six from the floor and rebuilt its lead to nine.
Arkansas pulled to 78-77 on a pair of Jones free throws with 28 seconds to play and had the final possession with 26 seconds left, but Joe missed a 3-point shot from the corner.
South Carolina’s edge in the inside was more pronounced. Arkansas, which played just one player taller than 6-foot-6, was challenged at the rim and shot just 32% in the first half and 41 % for the game.
South Carolina hosts Missouri on Saturday.
Arkansas plays at Alabama on Saturday.
Courtesy – Associated Press