Haley Salvador / The Daily Gamecock

Gamecock men's basketball team travels to Fayetteville, defeat Arkansas

The South Carolina men's basketball team traveled to Fayetteville, Arkansas Wednesday night and defeated the Razorbacks 79-77, handing them their second home game loss of the season.

The Razorbacks entered the game with a 15-4 overall record and an even 3-3 in the SEC. Arkansas rebounded from a 2-game skid with a win over TCU.

South Carolina head coach Frank Martin was asked in a pregame press conference what makes playing in Bud Walton Arena difficult. 

"17,000 people waiting for you when you walk on the court to shoot warm-up shots," Martin said. "Your guys walk out and they're gonna go shoot some balls, and the arena's going nuts already."

The Gamecocks held the lead for the full first half despite nine turnovers and a 57.1 field-goal percentage. A.J. Lawson led the team in points with 10.

The Razorbacks were quick to tie the game 40-40 at the start of the second half, but South Carolina's Justin Minaya and Jair Bolden responded with back-to-back 3-pointers.

A.J. Lawson clocked in with two dunks in the second half, just six minutes apart. He finished the game with 19 points.

With under six minutes in the game, the Gamecocks were within two points of losing their lead for the first time. Several consecutive fouls from Arkansas, including one technical, followed by four free-throws in a row by Bolden and Wildens Leveque kept South Carolina in the lead. 

In the last few minutes, the Gamecocks secured the win.

Keyshawn Bryant and Trae Hannibal returned from injuries on Saturday. Hannibal scored 11 points off the bench against Arkansas. Bryant had 10 rebounds, 5 defensive and 5 offensive.

The Gamecocks move to 12-8 overall and 4-3 in SEC play and will return to Columbia to continue SEC play against Missouri Feb. 1. Tipoff is set for 3:30 p.m. and fans can view the game on SEC Network.

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