Graham sparks Arkansas to 65-63 victory over South Carolina
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Jalen Graham came off the bench to score 16 points and Arkansas held off South Carolina 65-63 on Saturday.
Graham sank 8 of 10 shots from the floor for the Razorbacks (16-7, 5-5 Southeastern Conference), who earned their first true road win of the season. Davonte Davis hit four 3-pointers and scored 15. Anthony Black totaled 13 points six rebounds, four assists and two blocks. Ricky Council IV scored 10.
Josh Gray scored a career-high 20 points — 11 more than his previous best — for the Gamecocks (8-15, 1-9), who have lost seven straight. Gray matched his career best with 14 rebounds — set last time out in a loss to Mississippi State. Meechie Johnson also scored 20, sinking 5 of 8 shots from 3-point range. Hayden Brown added 10 points. Five players did all the scoring for the Gamecocks.
Graham had 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting and Davis buried a 3-pointer with 18 seconds left to send the Razorbacks into halftime with a 36-27 lead. Arkansas shot 57.7% from the floor before intermission (15 of 26).
The Razorbacks took their biggest lead at 47-35 on a jumper by Council with 14:05 left to play. Johnson sandwiched two 3-pointers around a Jacobi Wright layup — off a steal by Johnson — to pull the Gamecocks within 58-57 at the 5:09 mark. Gray followed with two free throws and South Carolina went ahead for the first time since leading 10-9.
Arkansas regained the lead with 2:53 remaining on two free throws from Black after he grabbed an offensive rebound and was fouled by Gray. Gray scored twice on dunks, but Council and Black answered with layups and the Razorbacks led 64-63 with 1:21 to go.
Johnson missed a 3-pointer for South Carolina, but Davis missed the front end of a 1-and-1 at the other end and Gray grabbed the rebound with 19 seconds left. Hayden Brown couldn’t connect on a layup coming out of a Gamecocks’ timeout and Black sank the first of two free throws for a 65-63 lead. Gray missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Arkansas leads the series 23-15 and improved to 8-8 on the Gamecocks’ home floor.
Arkansas: The Razorbacks travel to play Kentucky on Tuesday.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks travel to play Missouri on Tuesday.
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