Back to square one. Again. The Mike Anderson-led Razorbacks did what they do so well on the road. In their second true road game of the season, the Hogs came closer to notching their first road win against an SEC team with a winning record. The Razorbacks imploded and leave Athens on the short end of a 66-61 overtime game.
What made this game that much more frustrating is that for much of the game it appeared the Hogs would win, knock the monkey off their back on their way towards an NCAA berth. Coming off a win at home over No. 13 Kentucky on Tuesday night, this Razorback squad had made believers of those who had doubted for so long.
As good for the fanbase Kentucky game was, this one was bad.
Arkansas looked as bad as any team has against Georgia on the boards, losing that battle 56-34. Those 56 rebounds led to 22 second-chance points and the difference in the game. The Bulldogs, who were embarrassed at Florida earlier this week, played with more aggression, more desire for a win. They finished layups on fast breaks. They shot over 72% from the free throw line.
The Hogs took a seven-point lead about five minutes into the second half. It was looking like they might get that road SEC win until Arkansas went seven straight possessions - nearly seven minutes of game time - without a point of any kind. This wasn't the only five-plus minute stretch of scoreless basketball for the Hogs.
Georgia kept chipping away, and a normally subdued basketball fanbase started to become more involved. As Bulldog fans started to get louder the Razorback players started to fall apart more and more.
The two teams went back and forth with some terrible basketball
Out of a timeout, with 20 seconds left in regulation, Rashad Madden took a three-pointer to try and win the game. That was the play. Get Georgia to switch defenders on Madden to a 6-foot-8 forward and let Madden go one-on-one, and the long shot was all Madden could get. Author's note: In an attempt to be hero, Michael Qualls did go to the weakside to try and collect the rebound, but there were two defenders boxing out this time.
It was the same one-on-one basketball that lost a lead to Florida and nearly did the same to Kentucky.
Nothing changed in overtime. A quick 6-0 run from Georgia put the game out of reach for the Hogs, who finished the night at 32% from the field.
Two of the three leading scorers, Coty Clarke (12 points) and Fred Gulley (13), fouled out and there was nowhere to turn offensively.
The gameplan switched from being one-on-one with Madden to letting Anthlon Bell launch threes, leading to Georgia more rebounds. Not helping the cause went 1 of 2 from the line in back-to-back-to-back trips to the free throw line in the waning minutes of the game, making it impossible to surmount the Bulldogs lead.
I'm sure it will be better at Tennessee on Wednesday.
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