Moody leads No. 12 Arkansas past South Carolina
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Moses Moody tied his career high with 28 points and No. 12 Arkansas won its 10th straight in the Southeastern Conference with a 101-73 victory over South Carolina on Tuesday night.
The Razorbacks (20-5, 12-4 SEC) did it with the long ball, hitting 15 3-pointers to continue its longest league win streak to match the 1994 national champions who won their last 10 SEC regular-season games that year.
Moody had four 3-pointers as Arkansas reached 20 victories for a second straight year under coach Eric Musselman.
The Razorbacks got going from way outside in the first half to open a double-digit lead that South Carolina (6-13, 4-11) could not overcome.
Justin Smith had had 22 points, JD Notae 21 and Desi Sills 15, tying his career high with five 3-pointers.
Arkansas, a middle of the SEC pack team in three-point shooting percentage, couldn’t miss in a first half that looked more like practice than an SEC game.
The Razorbacks made 10 of 20 from behind the arc on the way to a 49-32 halftime lead.
Leading scorer Moody hit three 3-pointers while Sills made his first four before he bounced a long one off the rim.
Arkansas made 20 3-pointers in its opening win over Mississippi Valley in November. It’s previous high in SEC play this season was 12 in a 99-69 drubbing of Georgia in January. And they used the long ball to pull away early.
Sills’ first 3-pointer put Arkansas up for good at 17-14. Moody made it 26-18 with his second three of the half. Even 7-foot-3 Connor Vanover got into the act, nailing an open shot from the right corner. By the time Sills made back-to-back threes, the Razorbacks were up 32-22 and wouldn’t be caught.
It didn’t help that South Carolina’s top two scorers in AJ Lawson and Keyshawn Bryant were a combined 4-of-20 shooting for 10 points the first 20 minutes.
Lawson led the Gamecocks with 18 points.
Moody, the smooth, 6-foot-6 freshman, finished 10-of-15 shooting with seven rebounds.
THE BIG PICTURE
Arkansas: The Razorbacks look poised to be a dangerous team this March. They’ve got outside shooting, a dynamic scorer in Moody and a strong inside game led by the quick senior in Smith. And Arkansas’ already has a victory over SEC regular-season champion Alabama to fall back on should the teams meet at the SEC Tournament next week.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks broke a six-game losing streak last Saturday at Georgia, but couldn’t find any momentum against the deep, talented Razorbacks. When Arkansas began hitting threes, South Carolina tried to match them. That’s not their game.
Arkansas ends the regular season at home against Texas A&M on Saturday.
South Carolina finishes the regular season at Kentucky on Saturday.
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