Texas A&M 69, Arkansas 53: Seriously, Not Again

Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports

11-3, 0-1

Well that was deflating.

I almost feel like we should just post the reaction to last year's season-opening 69-51 loss to the Aggies and be done with it. The score was almost identical. Arkansas cut that 18 point lead to 16 this year, so I guess that's improvement.

The difference is last year I was angry. I didn't understand how the team could possibly be that bad on the road again. This year I'm just mad at myself. Mad because I don't know why I bought into the hype.

Even though some of the players are new and they've been playing better this year against mostly weak competition, it still felt, and continues to feel, like it's a better team.

But regardless how much better this team may be, with this loss it's very simple: nothing matters until Arkansas wins on the road. Nothing. They can beat Florida and Kentucky at home in the next week, and that's great, but until the team proves it can win on the road, it does not matter.

I don't think it's a non-conference scheduling issue. Arkansas scheduled better teams last season and still played nearly an identical game in College Station.

As we mentioned in the UTSA recap last weekend, this doesn't eliminate Arkansas from NCAA Tournament contention, but psychologically it's devastating. Who knows if the Hogs will still be able to fill up Bud Walton Arena against Florida and Kentucky. All we can do is hope this doesn't plague the players. The Hogs' next road game is at Georgia on January 18th. The Bulldogs did pull an upset at Missouri Wednesday night, so don't expect Arkansas to just walk in and get anything easily.

Don't really know what else to say. Feels like same 'ole same 'ole. We're all just anxiously waiting for them to turn it around.

The team just couldn't get anything going most of the night. Michael Qualls and Bobby Portis combined to go 4-for-24 from the field. The team went 4-for-19 from three and were only 7-for-14 from the free throw line. They missed several shots right around the basket. Everything felt forced.

Texas A&M only shot 40.7%. They weren't playing lights out. They just kept Arkansas from doing anything consistently.

Jamal Jones, the Searcy native at guard for the Aggies and who many expected to sign with the Hogs last spring, scored 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds in 25 minutes. That was neat.

Rashad Madden was the only double figure scorer for Arkansas. He had 12. Coty Clarke had nine points, ten rebounds and four assists. Portis had seven points and seven rebounds. Alandise Harris had a few good moments, particularly a powerful left-handed dunk in the first half in the middle of an Arkansas run. He finished with eight points and four rebounds. Anthlon Bell also had eight points. He hit his first three of the game then missed his last four.

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