Arkansas (12-6) at South Carolina (11-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 26, 1:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Colonial Life Arena (18,000) -- Columbia, South Carolina. Television: SEC Network. Home Record: Arkansas 12-1, South Carolina 7-4. Away Record: Arkansas 0-3, South Carolina 1-3. Neutral Record: Arkansas 0-2, South Carolina 3-0. Conference Record: Arkansas 3-2, South Carolina 1-4. Series Record: Arkansas leads, 14-10.
GAME NOTES: The Arkansas Razorbacks will try once again to secure their first win away from home when they take on the South Carolina Gamecocks in SEC action at Colonial Life Arena in Columbia on Saturday afternoon.
Arkansas (12-6, 3-2 SEC) defeated Mississippi State on Wednesday, 96-70, to improve to 12-1 on its home floor this season. The Razorbacks haven't been so fortunate outside of Fayetteville however, combining to go 0-5 in both true road and neutral-site affairs.
South Carolina has not fared well in SEC play this season, as it sits just 1-4 in the league following a hard-fought 71-65 loss at nationally-ranked Missouri on Tuesday. The Gamecocks' season as a whole has been largely a success however. At 11-7, they have already surpassed their win total from the entire 2011-12 campaign (10-21).
With regard to the all-time series between these two, Arkansas has a 14-10 advantage. The home team has won each of the last four meetings.
Arkansas typically has an outstanding scoring offense, as it ranks third in the SEC in field goal percentage (.459) and second in points per game (79.6), but Wednesday's 96-point outburst was one of its best showings of the season. The Razorbacks were impressive both from the field (33-of-67) and the foul line (21-of-26), and they were able to generate ample opportunities by forcing an astounding 29 Mississippi State turnovers. Marshawn Powell scored 17 points in the triumph, while Coty Clarke (13 points), B.J Young (13 points) and Jacorey Williams (10 points) were all solid off the bench. For the season, the Hogs' offensive attack is led by Young, who is the SEC's fourth-leading scorer (16.9 ppg) and assist man (4.1 apg). Powell (15.3 ppg) is a multi-talented forward, shooting 53.5 percent from the field and 42.5 percent from 3-point range, while adding 5.4 rpg and more than a block and a steal per contest. Hunter Mickelson (7.1 ppg) is also a factor in the paint, ranking fifth in the conference in blocked shots (1.6 bpg).
South Carolina was in control for most of its game against Missouri, and it led by as many as 13 points in the second half. While most of that advantage was whittled away, the team still found itself with a 63-62 lead with just over two minutes to play, but the Tigers ended the game on a 9-2 run to hand the Gamecocks the loss. Brenton Williams was on the mark from long range, draining 4-of-6 3-point tries on his way to 16 points, while R.J. Slawson (12 points) was also useful coming off the bench. Williams is the only active Gamecock averaging double-digits in the scoring column with 12.2 ppg, but head coach Frank Martin uses a deep rotation of players, as seven others average between 5.3 and 9.9 ppg. Michael Carrera (9.7 ppg, 7.0 rpg) and Lakeem Jackson (9.6 ppg, 7.3 rpg) are mainstays in the low post, while Bruce Ellington nets 9.9 ppg despite a disappointing field goal percentage (.359). The balanced effort has allowed USC to score 71.4 ppg, but unfortunately its effort at the defensive end hasn't been as sharp, as it yields 68.3 ppg (13th in the SEC).
Arkansas' road woes are a definite concern in this one, even if South Carolina has dropped its first two SEC games at Colonial Life Arena. If the Gamecocks can play as well as they did for most of the Missouri bout, then another notch in the win column is likely.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: South Carolina 76, Arkansas 74
01/26 10:34:51 ET