South Carolina (9-14) at Arkansas (16-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 11th, 1:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Bud Walton Arena (19,200) -- Fayetteville, Arkansas. Television: SEC Network, ESPN3.com. Home Record: USC 8-6, Arkansas 16-1. Away Record: USC 1-6, Arkansas 0-7. Neutral Record: USC 0-2, Arkansas 0-0. Conference Record: USC 1-8, Arkansas 4-5. Series Record: Arkansas leads, 13-10.
GAME NOTES: The Arkansas Razorbacks hope a little bit of home cooking will be the cure to their recent woes when they welcome the South Carolina Gamecocks to Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville for a SEC clash.
South Carolina has been the worst team in the SEC to this point, sitting in last place with a 1-8 league ledger, and is the only team in the conference having yet to notch double-digit wins overall. The Gamecocks have lost four straight and eight of their last nine, the most recent of which being a 69-57 setback at Tennessee on Wednesday.
Arkansas' ride to 16-8 overall and 4-5 in the SEC has been a crazy one. The Razorbacks have been one of the nation's best teams at home, winning 16 of their 17 tilts in front of the Fayetteville faithful, but they simply can not get it together on the road, losing all seven times they've played in enemy territory. They have lost three of their last four games, all on the road, including an embarrassing 81-59 defeat against Georgia on Wednesday.
Arkansas owns a 13-10 series lead over South Carolina, but the Gamecocks won the only meeting a year ago in an 81-74 final in overtime.
South Carolina is one of just three teams in the SEC that allows more points (64.5 ppg) than it scores (62.3 ppg) on average. The Gamecocks' offensive attack has been rather anemic during their current losing streak as they have not registered more than 66 points in the last nine games. The team's shooting woes continued in Wednesday's loss to Tennessee, as USC connected on only 33.9 percent of its total shots. Bruce Ellington tallied 12 points despite shooting just 5-of-16 from the floor and he handed out a season-high six assists. Malik Cooke leads the Gamecocks this season with 12.2 ppg, but he has scored just 14 points combined in his last two games. Ellington adds 10.1 ppg but owns a terrible field goal percentage (.353). South Carolina is one of the least effective teams on the glass in the conference, grabbing 31.9 rpg with a rebounding margin of -0.7.
Though Arkansas nets a solid 73.5 ppg, fifth most in the SEC, it has been let down by its last-ranked defense which allows 67.3 ppg. The Razorbacks play even worse on the road, as they have given up at least 70 points in all seven away games. Georgia, which ranks last in the conference in scoring (61.5 ppg) and field goal percentage (.394), torched Arkansas with 52.6 percent overall shooting, nine three-pointers, and 81 points. The struggling Razorback offense was led by freshman B.J. Young, who scored 16 points and he has tallied double digits in 10 of the last 11 games. Young paces the offense with 13.9 ppg while shooting well from the field (.494), three-point range (.389) and the foul line (.716). Mardracus Wade (11.1 ppg) and Rickey Scott (10.1 ppg) do their best to contribute to the UA scoring attack. The team doesn't have a player averaging more than 4.5 rpg, and the Hogs are last in the conference in rebounding margin (-3.0).
Arkansas has been reeling of late but a home game against the SEC's worst team is just what it needs to get healthy.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Arkansas 77, South Carolina 66
02/11 10:43:39 ET