South Carolina Basketball: Gamecocks cruise past Razorbacks in SEC Tournament opener

South Carolina basketball coach Lamont Paris got paid in the morning with a contract extension and led his team to an SEC Tournament victory in the afternoon.

South Carolina basketball forward Collin Murray-Boyles
South Carolina basketball forward Collin Murray-Boyles / Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
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South Carolina Basketball vs. Arkansas Razorbacks
Stats, Scoring, and Observations

South Carolina basketball dominated the Arkansas Razorbacks on Thursday in the Gamecocks' first game of the SEC Tournament. On the backs of over 40 points from the Gamecocks' two starting bigs, Carolina won 80-66.

Here are the stats from the game:

STATS

Arkansas

Points

Leader: Khalif Battle with 20

Rebounds

Leader: Khalif Battle with 7

Assists

Leader: Jalen Graham with 4

Steals

Leader: El Ellis with 2

Blocks

Leader: Jalen Graham with 2

Team

The Razorbacks shot 51.9%/23.1%/90% and had 14 turnovers

South Carolina

Points

Leader: Collin Murray-Boyles with 24

Rebounds

Leader: BJ Mack with 9

Assists

Leader: Zach Davis with 4

Steals

Leader: Collin Murray-Boyles with 4

Blocks

Leader: None

Team

The Gamecocks shot 52.5%/20%/61.9% and had 8 turnovers

BOX SCORE

OBSERVATIONS

  • Starters: Ta’Lon Cooper-Meechie Johnson-Zach Davis-BJ Mack-Collin Murray-Boyles
  • The referees were "letting the boys play" a lot in the first half with very minimal whistles considering the amount of contact on the floor.
  • BJ Mack and Collin Murray-Boyles carried the offensive load for the Gamecocks in the opening 20 minutes. At halftime, they combined for
  • The 1st half pace was inconsistent. At times, Carolina was able to slow things down to the methodical speed they prefer. At others, Arkansas sped things up.
  • Ta'Lon Cooper banged up his knee on a foul late in the 1st half. He stayed in the game.
  • A late switch to the 1-3-1 caused major problems for the Hogs. 3 turnovers and 0 points over the final 2 minutes of the half allowed Carolina to take the lead before halftime.
  • Meechie Johnson didn't have his best offensive game in the 1st half. However, Lamont Paris still trusted his veteran guard to get a bucket with 4 seconds left. Johnson drove the length of the floor for a layup at the buzzer to give his team a 3-point halftime lead.
  • The Gamecock defense held Tramon Mark to just 2 points in the 1st half.
  • Arkansas came out for the 2nd half completely uninspired.
  • Outside of one run that came after Eric Musselman benched El Ellis, the Gamecocks dominated.
  • Carolina pushed their lead all the way to 20 before Arkansas got a couple of garbage time buckets to close the gap.
  • BJ Mack and Collin Murray-Boyles combined to shot 16-24 from the field to score 43 points.

Next. South Carolina Basketball: Keys to Gamecock success in SEC Tournament. South Carolina Basketball: Keys to Gamecock success in SEC Tournament. dark