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Colonial Life Arena - Columbia, South Carolina

Arkansas takes down No. 21 South Carolina 83-76

11 days ago
Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Jaylen Barford tied his career high with 23 points and Arkansas got its first road win over a ranked opponent in almost three years with an 83-76 victory over No. 21 South Carolina on Wednesday night.

Dusty Hannahs added 20 points for the Razorbacks (19-7, 8-5 Southeastern Conference) including nine straight after the Gamecocks had cut a 10-point deficit to 55-54 with less than 11 minutes remaining to restore the margin. South Carolina (20-6, 10-3) closed to 77-76 on PJ Dozier's layin with 1:04 to go. But Manuale Watkins hit a running jumper that rattled home with 29.3 seconds left as the shot clock sounded.

Moses Kingsley blocked Sindarius Thornwell's shot and Arkansas held on.

Thornwell had another monster game for South Carolina with 27 points. But like his 44-point, 21-rebound effort last week in a four-overtime home loss to Alabama, it was not enough. The Gamecocks dropped a game behind SEC leaders No. 13 Kentucky and No. 15 Florida in the race for a league title.

Kingsley had 16 points and Daryl Macon added 13 for Arkansas, which had not beaten a Top 25 opponent on the road since topping Kentucky, then 17th, on Feb. 27, 2014.

Barford matched his career best set against Missouri two weeks ago.

BIG PICTURE

Arkansas: The Razorbacks shook off a slow start with several first-half runs against one of the country's best defenses. After trailing by 14, Arkansas used a 25-2 run to move in front. And when South Carolina rallied to tie the game at 30-all, the Razorbacks finished the half with 9-2 spurt. Arkansas shot 53.6 percent against a team that had come in holding opponents to 38.7 percent -- the lowest percentage in the SEC.

South Carolina: The Gamecocks had been a team on a roll with a 9-1 start to SEC play. But losses to Alabama and Arkansas in just the past eight days have South Carolina straddling a perilous line in the NCAA Tournament. The team won 24 games including 11 in the SEC and yet was left out of last year's event. Coach Frank Martin has talked to his team about not leaving things to chance this season, but it looks like the Gamecocks will need a late-season rally to lock up a spot.

UP NEXT

Arkansas returns home to play Mississippi on Saturday.

South Carolina travels to Vanderbilt on Saturday night.