There was no way Arkansas was losing this game. The Hogs always seem to play well in game in which they honor something about the glory days, and they just weren't losing to a team like Missouri when they were hanging a banner for Corliss Williamson.
Mizzouri is having a terrible season. Arkansas won by 15 and still didn't cover the spread. This was a game that really only could have hurt Arkansas' resume, similar to what has happened to poor Georgia losing at home back-to-back against Auburn and South Carolina. But the Razorbacks would not suffer such a fate. The Hogs essentially controlled the game from beginning to end and pulled away without any real threat.
It was close for the first 10 minutes of the game, and Missouri actually led by three 10 minutes in, but then the Tigers went seven straight minutes without scoring while the Hogs scored 15 straight. Arkansas went into halftime up 8, then scored the first seven points of the second half and Missouri never got closer than 12 points the rest of the game.
Arkansas didn't really dominate. The Tigers shot 55.6% in the second half and 50% for the game. They were able to score and the Hogs weren't able to pull away as well as they would have liked. Still, there was never much fear the outcome was in doubt.
The Razorbacks didn't shoot quite as well as Missouri, percentage-wise, but were much better from the three-point line and shot 31 free throws to Missouri's 15 despite the Tigers only being called for four more fouls than Arkansas was. The Razorbacks forced 20 turnovers when they only forced 8 in Columbia. The Hogs made 61 deflections for the game, which is a stat they said after the game they were extremely proud of.
Michael Qualls led the game in scoring with 21 points and made a dunk that likely will end up on the SportsCenter Top Ten list later tonight. Bobby Portis had 16 points and nine rebounds, but did not shoot a free throw, which is strange. Anton Beard also pitched in 13 points on 4-5 shooting. Alandise Harris and Anthlon Bell both scored eight points.
But again, this was a game Arkansas just had to have. It was the best chance Arkansas had of a seriously bad loss on their resume. The Tigers won their SEC opener but haven't won since, losing 12 straight now and has an RPI getting closer to 200. The Hogs just had to take care of business tonight and they did. They probably would have lost a seeding line if they'd lost tonight.
Record Book Watch:
Ky Madden only scored 5 points, but he passed Clint McDaniel for 34th place on Arkansas' all-time scoring list and now has 1,009 points. Next up is Jerry Carlton for 33rd place with 1,042 points. Madden could end up in the top 30 by the end of the season.
He's also in 7th place on the career assists list with 332. Alvin Robertson is next on the list at 341. Madden could get up to 4th place by the end of the year.
Qualls and Portis are racing to be the 37th Hog to reach 1,000 points. After tonight, Qualls has 930 and Portis has 876. Arkansas has almost for sure at least seven games left this season. Hopefully a few more than that.