Arkansas basketball survives South Carolina's comeback attempt for first road win
Arkansas basketball nearly blew a 13-point lead to the SEC's next-to-last-place team. Nearly.
Instead, the Razorbacks found a way to win on the road for the first time this season, surviving South Carolina 65-63 in Columbia. Arkansas extended its SEC win streak to four games.
The Razorbacks (16-7, 5-5 SEC) built up the 13-point lead about two minutes into the second half, only to see it evaporate and South Carolina (8-15, 1-9) take a one-point lead with four minutes to play.
The Razorbacks and Gamecocks traded the lead throughout the final minutes, but Arkansas got the stop it needed with four seconds left with a missed Hayden Brown layup and an Anthony Black defensive rebound.
South Carolina fouled Black, who made a free throw, and the Gamecocks got the ball down two with 2.5 seconds left. Their long 3-point attempt missed, and the Razorbacks escaped. They improved to 2-4 in games decided by five points or fewer.
"We were desperate for a road win; South Carolina was desperate for a home win," Arkansas coach Eric Musselman said. "It continues to be a learning experience for many of our guys, and I do think we are playing much better basketball having won four games in a row in league play."
Johnson, Gray give South Carolina fighting chance
Guard Meechie Johnson was the key to South Carolina making it a close game. He scored 17 of his 20 points in the second half, including 5-for-6 from beyond the arc.
Center Josh Gray had his best game, scoring a career-high 20 and grabbing a game-high 14 rebounds. It was his second double-double in four games.
But Gray is not a 3-point shooter, and on the game's final possession, Arkansas wanted to force him to take the Gamecocks' last-second shot. The Razorbacks got Gray right where they wanted him, and his game-winning attempt bounced off the right edge of the backboard.
Devo Davis' 3-point shooting stays hot
Arkansas went 4-for-15 from beyond the arc, its lowest 3-point percentage as a team since its Jan. 11 loss to Alabama. All four of its makes came from Davonte Davis.
Davis was 4-for-10 from beyond the arc against the Gamecocks. It was his second straight game with a career-high four made 3-pointers.
Arkansas has another road test at Kentucky on Tuesday (8 p.m. CT, ESPN).
Christina Long covers the Arkansas Razorbacks for the Southwest Times Record and USA Today Network. You can follow her on Twitter @christinalong00 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on Fort Smith Times Record: Arkansas basketball survives South Carolina's comeback attempt