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OPINION | WALLY HALL: Hogs' defense in second half the difference maker

by Wally Hall | January 18, 2022 at 8:26 p.m.

After Texas beat Arkansas in the 1969 Shootout, Longhorns coach Darrell Royal quoted a country western line, “You gotta dance with who brung you.’

In the second half Tuesday night the Razorbacks danced with their best friend, defense.

The Hogs man-to-man defense turned a 40-33 halftime deficit into a 75-59 win making the Gamecocks look like they would have been better off boarding the buses at halftime and heading for the plane and home.

It wasn’t just the Razorbacks outscored South Carolina 42-19 in the second half, it was how they broke down the Gamecocks and made them look like a high school team trying to compete in the SEC.

Consider the Hogs forced 11 second half turnovers while holding S.C. to six of 27 from the floor. That’s 22.2 percent shooting, including 1-10 on threes after they made six of 13 in the first half.

While on the subject of threes, the Razorbacks were 0-11 but attempted only four in the second half as they scored inside almost at will.

It was Arkansas’ third consecutive win to bring their SEC record to 3-3 in league play and 13-5 overall.

Coach Eric Musselman returned to the bench after missing the win over LSU because of surgery to repair his rotary cuff, he was originally scheduled to miss last night’s win too, but wearing a sling he was in near full form.

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