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Game preview: South Carolina returns home to take on Arkansas

After a tough road trip to Lexington, it’s good to be home.

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

South Carolina (11-11, 6-3 SEC) vs. Arkansas (14-8, 5-4)

Start time: 3:30 p.m.

TV: SEC Network

Live stream:

Last game

The Gamecocks split last week’s road trip, coming down off the high of their fifth straight win over Georgia with a very rude 76-48 loss to No. 5 Kentucky. The Wildcats, which were red-hot entering the contest, had little trouble defending their home court, and cranked up the defensive intensity on South Carolina. The Gamecocks shot just 36 percent from the floor, and at one point endured an 0-for-10 stretch in the second half. To make matters worse, South Carolina was thoroughly out-rebounded, careless with the ball, and didn’t cash in on the limited opportunities it had at the foul line. Freshmen Tre Campbell and A.J. Lawson were bright spots with 12 points each, but Chris Silva (four points) and Hassani Gravett (two) were no-shows. There’s really not a whole lot to say about this game, other just “flush it and move on.”

What to watch for

The Razorbacks got off to a rough start in conference play, losing four straight before finally picking up a win against Mizzou. However, Arkansas has done a complete 180, as it’s currently on a four-game SEC winning streak — which included a 90-89 thriller to hand No. 19 LSU its first conference loss (and first loss at home in more than a year). Daniel Gafford has been driving the train for the Hogs, as he leads them in points (16.9), rebounds (8.9) and blocks (2) per game. Isaiah Joe (14.2) and Mason Jones (13.7) are also double-figure scorers for Arkansas, and Joe’s sharp-shooting from 3 (44.4 percent) is good for second in the conference. This will not be an easy one for the Gamecocks, but at least they’re back at home, where they’re 7-5 so far.