COLUMBIA, S.C. – Arkansas used a nice second-half run to erase a 10-point deficit, but Chris Warren had a better second period as South Carolina held off Arkansas, 72-65, Saturday at the Carolina Center.
Arkansas trailed by 10 twice in the first half, by five at halftime, 30-25, and by nine, 43-34, with 16:41 to play.
Wen Mukubu converted a three-point play and Eric Ferguson made one of his season-high four three-pointers to get Arkansas (7-14, 2-8) within 43-40. Warren, a part-time starter who entered the game averaging just 7.1 points for the season, made a three to push the margin back to six. Michael Jones, who scored all seven of his points in the second half, made a jumper, but Warren responded with another three.
Jonathon Modica and Rolando Howell traded baskets before Ferguson hit a jumper. Warren again responded with a three.
Alonzo Lane and Carlos Powell traded buckets before Modica hit a pair of free throws and one of his two three-pointers to get the Razorbacks within 56-55. Jones’ jumper gave the Hogs a one-point lead with 5:16 to play.
With the score tied 59-59, USC (10-11, 3-7) scored five straight, but a three by Ferguson got Arkansas within 64-62. After a pair of Gamecock free throws, Warren drained his sixth and final three to give South Carolina a 69-62 lead with 39 seconds to play.
Ferguson, who made eight of 14 shots and scored a team and season-high 20 points, answered with a three, but USC hit three of four free throws to keep Arkansas from getting any closer.
Warren was six of 13 from the field, including six of nine from three-point range, and scored a game-high 23 points. He had made just eight three-pointers for the year entering the game. Tony Kitchings added 15 points and seven rebounds for USC, and Chuck Eidson had 14 points.
Modica finished with 17 points for Arkansas on six of 10 shooting, and he had five rebounds. Larry Satchell added seven point and nine rebounds.
Dionisio Gomez, who had 18 points and nine rebounds against Tennessee on Wednesday, had just two points and two rebounds, and fouled out after only 10 minutes.
Arkansas plays host to Kentucky Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. in a game televised by Jefferson-Pilot Sports.