The win moves Arkansas to 18-5 overall and 7-4 in the SEC while Carolina falls to 18-6 and 7-4 in the SEC. Georgia was idle Thursday and is 18-6 overall and 7-4 in the league as well. The win is the program's 200th victory in Bud Walton Arena.
Ricketts scored a game-high 16 points with seven rebounds and two steals. Senior Ashley Daniels scored 13 and added a game-best nine rebounds while Dominique Robinson scored 12 with a six-for-six night from the line.
"This is a big one for us and it feels really good," Arkansas head coach Tom Collen said. "We came out confident and got the lead and you could see it in the player's eyes. We want to finish this thing out strong, one game at a time."
The teams had different approaches to the pre-game warm up with Carolina coming out with a spirited warm-up. The Razorbacks were business-like and quiet.
Carolina would benefit from the first basket of the game, a three-pointer, but Arkansas then put together a 14-0 run getting the crowd and team fired up.
Arkansas continued to stretch the lead but suffered a more than three minute scoring drought stalling at 22 points. The Razorbacks relied on their defense and it kept them in the game and in the lead until Ricketts got a steal and Daniels scored to jump start the offense once again.
The Razorback offense was steady from that point on, shooting 56.5 percent in the first half on 13-for-23 from the floor, to lead 33-17 at the break. Ricketts led all scorers with 11 at the half.
The Razorbacks allowed Carolina to score first out of the break but answered with a 12-5 run as the lead grew to as much as 23 in the second half. Arkansas' defense was stingy all night holding South Carolina to 35.4 percent from the floor.
Arkansas, meanwhile, shot 48.1 percent against one of the best defensive teams in the country. The Gamecocks entered the game ranked second in the NCAA in points allowed and have held opponents to 48 or fewer points 11 times this year.
The Razorbacks scored 34 points in the paint and 26 off of 23 South Carolina turnovers.
"Keira (Peak) and Dominqiue were the co-MVP's tonight," Collen said. "We challenged them and both really played well. They were great stoppers on defense and combined for 19 points. They were important for us."Arkansas hits the road for a game at Auburn Sunday. The game was originally scheduled for a 2 p.m. tip but game time has been pushed up to 1:45 p.m. to accommodate television. The game will air on ESPN2.