Local Teams

National Basketball Association
Arkansas 78, South Carolina 74
When: 7:00 PM ET, Thursday, March 5, 2015
Where: Colonial Life Arena, Columbia, South Carolina
Officials: # James Breeding, # Joe DeRosa, # Tony Greene
Attendance: 10065

No. 18 Arkansas 78, South Carolina 74: Bobby Portis scored 24 points and Michael Qualls added 18 as the visiting Razorbacks rallied after blowing a 20-point lead, clinching the second seed in next week’s SEC tournament.

Rashad Madden finished with nine assists and seven rebounds for Arkansas (24-6, 13-4), which led 43-23 in the first half before trailing by as many as 11 with under eight minutes left. Portis shot 9-of-17 from the field, Qualls made 7-of-18 shots and Anthlon Bell hit five 3-pointers in scoring 17 points.

Tyrone Johnson scored 18 points to lead the Gamecocks (14-15, 5-12), who led 71-60 before being outscored 18-3 down the stretch. Duane Notice and Michael Carrera scored 14 points apiece for South Carolina, which committed 16 turnovers and shot 18-of-26 from the free-throw line.

Notice’s basket with less than 7 ½ minutes left capped a 17-4 run and pushed the Gamecocks’ advantage to 11, but Bell scored eight of Arkansas’ next 10 points and Portis’ basket with 1:44 left pulled the Razorbacks within 73-72. Qualls scored 20 seconds later to put Arkansas ahead and Portis’ stickback with nine seconds left made it 76-73, and Qualls secured the rebound after Sindarius Thornwell purposely missed the second of two free throws with 2.6 seconds left.

Portis scored 13 points in the first seven minutes and two Madden free throws put Arkansas ahead by 20, but the Gamecocks drew within 49-38 at halftime and opened the second half on a 16-4 run – highlighted by Notice’s four-point play – to go ahead 54-53 on Carrera’s tip-in with just over 14 minutes left. Portis’ three-point play put Arkansas ahead by two before South Carolina scored 17 of the next 21 points.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Johnson left the game with 2:29 remaining with an upper left leg injury. … Arkansas snapped a six-game losing streak at South Carolina and improved to 19-5 in its past 24 SEC contests. … Bell finished 5-of-8 from 3-point range, tying a career-high for most made 3-pointers in a game.
Top Game Performances
Arkansas   South Carolina
Bobby Portis 24 Scoring Tyrone Johnson 18
Rashad Madden 9 Assists Tyrone Johnson 6
Bobby Portis 8 Rebounds Michael Carrera 9
Bobby Portis 5 Free Throws Made Tyrone Johnson 6
Michael Qualls 4 Steals Tyrone Johnson 3
Anthlon Bell 1 Blocks Laimonas Chatkevicius 3
Team Stats Summary
Team Points FG% 3PM-3PA FTM-FTA Assists Rebounds Blocks Steals Turnovers
Arkansas 78 46.2 7-21 11-17 14 32 3 10 12
South Carolina 74 51.0 6-15 18-26 17 30 6 7 16