#21 USC suffered its second consecutive home loss and its third loss in three games Wednesday night with an 83-76 loss to Arkansas at Colonial Life Arena. USC is still on solid footing in terms of the NCAA Tournament, but the loss to the Razobacks didn’t help seeding and dropped the Gamecocks out of a three way tie for the lead in the SEC race. Now Frank Martin will have to regroup his team for a pair of road games at Vanderbilt Saturday and at Florida next Tuesday.
Here are a few takeaways from USC’s loss to Arkansas.
Defense struggling to get stops
This team makes its money on the defensive end so any time a team puts 80+ on the board it is a sign of trouble. The Razorbacks 83 points is the most a team has scored on the Gamecocks this season. The Hogs shot 54% from the floor; they shot 50% on 3-pointers. Until recently, the Gamecocks had been among the best teams in the country in both of those defensive statistics.
Check out Sindarius Thornwell on the defensive struggles, loss to Arkansas:
Foul trouble troubles
This has been a pretty regular theme for the Gameocks this season and was again Wednesday night. It seems like Chris Silva gets whistled for his first foul in the pregame layup line; he walks into the arena in foul trouble. He picked up two in the first 5:30 and had to take a seat. Arkansas erased a 12 point Gamecock lead with Silva sitting on the bnech. H ended up fouling out in the second half but still managed a solid stat line with 16 points and 8 rebounds.
Maik Kotsar and PJ Dozier also spent a good chunk of the game in foul trouble. More on Dozier in a moment.
Sindarius Thornwell did his part
You can’t blame Sindarius Thornwell for this recent slide. The senior guard scored a game high 27 points and grabbed four rebounds and had three assist, two blocked shots and a steal. He only turned the ball over once. He played 35 minutes.
Off night for Dozier
We already mentioned the foul trouble for Dozier. He picked up two in the first half and had four fouls with over eight minutes to play in the game. He managed to avoid fouling out, but he never found his rhythm on either end of the court. The sophomore finished with nine points, six assist and four turnovers.
Frank Martin sensed trouble
Frank Martin said he wasn’t surprised that his team struggled on defense and couldn’t find a way to win. He was so upset at practice Monday he walked out before it was over. Martin said it was only the second time in his 30 plus years of coaching that he has done that. He said his team isn’t where it was a month ago from an emotional or focus standpoint. Martin said it will be up to the players to take ownership of the problem and right the ship.
Check out what Martin had to say below: