USC overcame a sluggish start by going on a 25-2 run and never looked back in posting a 75-54 win over Arkansas Saturday at the Colonial Life Arena in front of 10,926 fans. The Gamecocks earned their first SEC home win of the season and improved to 2-4 in the league and 12-7 overall. Arkansas falls to 3-3 in the league and 12-7 overall.
The Razorbacks hit the Gamecocks early with their pressure and forced three turnovers in the first five minutes while building a 15-3 lead. But after Gamecock coach Frank Martin called a time out, his team took off on a dominating stretch in which they completely turned the game in their favor.
Forcing turnovers themselves and getting outstanding outside shooting from Brian Richardson and Bruce Ellington, the Gamecocks went on their tear. They scored 13 unanswered points to take a 16-15 lead. After Arkansas went back up 17-16, the Gamecocks went on a 12-0 run for a 28-17 lead with 5:47 left in the half. USC took a 43-26 lead into halftime and stretched it to 25 points in the second half.
Brian Richardson, who only played three minutes and did not score in the loss at Missouri Tuesday night, tied his career high with 20 points off the bench in leading the Gamecocks in scoring. Bruce Ellington added 14 points and Lakeem Jackson 11. The Gamecocks shot 57.7% for the game, their high mark for the season. They were 7-12 from three point range.
Marshawn Powell led all scorers with 22 points and was the only Razorback in double figures.
The double digit victory is the first for the Gamecocks in an SEC game since 2009, and the 21 point spread is their largest in an SEC game since defeating Kentucky by 18 points in 2009.
USC will play at Florida Wednesday night. Arkansas plays at Alabama that same night.