Nineteen turnovers and sloppy play from start to finish led to the South Carolina men's basketball team elimination from the SEC Tournament at the hands of Arkansas, with a final score of 69-64 in the second round.
Thursday's game was another slow start for South Carolina, as Arkansas took possession first and took an early lead. The Gamecocks were able to piece together consecutive threes from the hands of Justin Minya, Frank Booker and Felipe Haase to tie the game with four minutes left in the first half. Still, the Razorbacks were ultimately able to come back to grab the 36-28 lead at halftime.
The second half was a similar story, and the Razorbacks jumped out to lead by as much as 15 points early out of the locker room. The Gamecocks took advantage of Arkansas going cold down the stretch, and South Carolina was able to make it a one-point game.
That close game was brief, but it gave Gamecock fans hope that their postseason dreams would stay alive for one more day. But almost immediately the Razorbacks took the game back with a three-pointer and took advantage of free throws to seal the win. The Razorbacks made over 88 percent of their free throws, while the Gamecocks made just over 62 percent of theirs.
Maik Kotsar and Chris Silva had big games for the Gamecocks, both scoring 15 points on the night. Kotsar scored in double digits in both of the tournament matchups and was a key piece in keeping both games close for South Carolina. Silva also recorded his second double-double of the tournament, leading the team with 11 rebounds on Thursday.
This game went smoother for the Gamecocks than the regular season matchup, as Arkansas got the 81-65 win in Fayetteville. Both resulted in losses for South Carolina, and they had similar patterns as well, as just three Gamecocks scored in double-digits in both games.
With this second round loss, the NCAA Tournament is out of the question for South Carolina. The Gamecocks will now await to see if they secured an NIT bid, which will be released on Sunday.