Tom Murphy is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of Louisiana Tech University, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and voter for the Heisman Trophy and AP Top 25 football poll.
In the lane:
They’re never ever this good
Rashad Madden, pictured in a file photo from the 2012 matchup with South Carolina, was suspended for this season's game against the Gamecocks on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013.
COLUMBIA, S.C. South Carolina was making less than 30 percent of its three-pointers in SEC games before hosting Arkansas on Saturday.
For one day the Gamecocks shed their three point shooting struggles by making 7 of 12 (58.3 percent) three-pointers in their 75-54 victory over the Razorbacks.
The epitome of South Carolina’s 7-of-10 three-point shooting in the first half came in the final minute, when guard Eric Smith, trapped at the top of the circle with the shot clock running down, pivoted around Arkansas’ Anthlon Bell and launched an off balance three-pointer that swished as the shot clock buzzer sounded for a 41-22 lead.
“I mean, the shot clock was running down on one and I think Smith kind of just flung it and before you know it, it was their day,” Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson said.
South Carolina guard Bruce Ellington, who had made 8 of 37 shots in his past three games, bounced back with a 6-of-8 shooting performance, including 2 of 2 from three-point range.
“He hadn’t been shooting well, but it seemed like it was flowing for him today,” Anderson said.
Arkansas played without sophomore Ky Madden, who stayed behind in Fayetteville while serving a suspension.
“It’s a team violation,that’s all,” Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson said. “He didn’t make the trip.”
Asked if Madden would be available for Thursday’s game at Alabama, Anderson said, “We’ll see when we get back.” Board blast
South Carolina entered as the SEC leader by rebounding 42.2 percent of its missed shots, and the Gamecocks improved on that stat by grabbing 13 of 27 (.481) rebounds on their offensive end.
Arkansas’ rebounding margin, which had been minus-6.0 in SEC games, fell to minus-7.6 after South Carolina out rebounded the Hogs 42-26.
Bruce vs. BJ
South Carolina’s Bruce Ellington did most of the guarding on Arkansas’ BJ Young, and the junior held Young to seven points on 3-of-12 shooting, well below his average of 16.9 points per game.
“I just think BJ didn’t do a good job of moving without the ball,” Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson said. “All he [Ellington] did was just deny it and got a little physical with him, that’s all. He did a good job.” Bench blanks
Arkansas’ reserves did not score in the first half and wound up being outscored 27-9 by the Gamecocks’ bench for the game.
The Razorbacks’ substitutes made 3 of 18 (16.7 percent) shots. Forward Coty Clarke was 3 of 4, meaning the rest of the reserves were 0 of 14.
Arkansas’ 15-3 run to open the game was fueled by 6-of-7 shooting and by guard Rickey Scott, who scored eight points in the span.
Scott hit a baseline jumper to open the scoring, then had a three-point play and a three-pointer from the left wing to cap the run at the 15:38 mark.
BJ Young returned to the starting lineup for Arkansas after a one-game absence in which Ky Madden started in his place.
Marshawn Powell and Hunter Mickelson have started all 19 games for the Hogs this season, while Young has started 17. Rickey Scott started his 10th game Saturday, and Fred Gulley started his fifth.
The crowd got a kick out of South Carolina forward Lakeem Jackson’s one handed push free-throw style. The left-hander’s awkward delivery was on display six times, and on the two free throws he made, the Carolina fans reacted with as much laughter as cheers.
Jackson, an interior scrapper, was 4 of 4 from the field.
Psyche and boo
Arkansas forward Coty Clarke drew jeers from the South Carolina fans in the final seconds. Clarke appeared to be backing down on defense, which caused South Carolina’s Michael Carrera to drop his guard while dribbling.
Clarke then swiped the ball and went in for a dunk with 1.2 seconds left as the crowd booed its disapproval.
Arkansas now leads the all-time series with South Carolina 14-11. ... As part of the Coaches vs. Cancer campaign, coaches from both staffs wore sneakers. ... The Razorbacks fell to 1-10 in SEC road games under Mike Anderson and 9-42 since the start of the 2007 season. ... Former South Carolina Coach Eddie Fogler, who lives in the Columbia, S.C,. area and is friends with current Gamecocks Coach Frank Martin, attended the game.
Sports, Pages 26 on 01/27/2013