FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) – Jonathon Modica scored a career-high 37 points to lead Arkansas to an easy 73-59 win over South Carolina on Saturday.
Modica had 20 points in the first half as the Razorbacks rolled to a 39-21 lead at the break. He finished 11-of-17 from the field,6-of-9 from 3-point range and nine-of-10 at the line, surpassing his previous career high of 33 points set in 2004 against Mississippi State. The six three-point buckets are a career high while the nine free throws match his personal best.
The 37 points is the high in the SEC this year and is the most for a Razorback since Al Dillard had 39 against Delaware State on Dec. 11, 1993.
Arkansas was coming off a 78-76 loss at Kentucky last Sunday in which the Wildcats rallied from an 18-point deficit. South Carolina pulled to 65-55 with 2:55 remaining, but Modica had a driving 3-point play, a layup off a fast break and a 3-pointer to push the lead back to 18.
The Razorbacks (15-6, 4-4 Southeastern Conference) have lost four league games by a combined 12 points. Their four wins were by 12, 16, 13 and 14.
Neither team had played since last weekend, and both struggled offensively early. South Carolina led 6-2 before Modica made the first of four first-half 3-pointers with 15:04 remaining. That shot started a 7-0 run that put Arkansas ahead for good.
Modica was open repeatedly against the Gamecocks’ zone, and his second 3-pointer made it 21-10.
Modica made back-to-back 3-pointers to put the Razorbacks ahead 35-15 with 3:56 to play. His six 3-pointers in the game also set a career high.
Charles Thomas scored 13 points for Arkansas, and Ronnie Brewer added 10. Tarence Kinsey scored 14 points for the Gamecocks (11-10, 2-6).
Arkansas travels to LSU on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. game televised by Jefferson-Pilot Sports.
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