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Arkansas Razorbacks 61, Mississippi State Bulldogs 41: Dismissed

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18-5, 7-3

Anton Beard's steal was one of Mississippi State's 24 turnovers.
Anton Beard's steal was one of Mississippi State's 24 turnovers.
Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports

This wasn't a particularly pretty game to watch. Arkansas won by 20 points despite shooting just 37.5% from the field. The most remarkable aspect of the game - other than the wonderful honoring of Sidney Moncrief at halftime (yay for more banners!) - was that the Razorbacks shut down in the Bulldogs in the first half. Mississippi State could only put together 9 points in the first half. That was it. A single digit half. They shot 9.5%. It was the lowest total Arkansas has held an SEC opponent since joining the league.

The game was tied at 7-7 seven minutes into the game, but then the Razorbacks went on a 20-0 run that blew the game open. State went scoreless for 13:22 seconds before a pair of free throws gave them their nine points. After the game, Mississippi State coach Rick Ray brushed it off, saying it wasn't a big deal, but it kinda was, if if you consider losing the game a big deal. Other than that stretch they played pretty evenly with Arkansas.

Part of the reason for the run was because Arkansas some pretty good defense. Part of that was because Mississippi State looked completely inept. The committed 14 turnovers in the first 20 minutes - a total usually considered a lot for a full game - and while Arkansas forced many of those, many were unforced. Ray attributed the struggles to the speed with which the Hogs force teams to play.

Arkansas wasn't playing particularly well on offense. They led at halftime 30-9 but were shot only 34.3%. It felt like they left some points on the table, but it didn't matter. The Bulldogs played better in the 2nd half, but never came close to threatening. They didn't make a three the entire game.

Bobby Portis had a double double - again - with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Anthlon Bell came back to life with four threes for his 12 points. Alandise Harris had nine points. Ky Madden had seven points, four rebounds, four assists, and only one turnover.

Michael Qualls injured his knee earlier in the week and was questionable for the game, but he started an hit a three from the corner for Arkansas' first points, but was held scoreless the rest of the game, going 1-9.

Despite their four conference wins, Mississippi State suffered some dreadful losses in non-conference (including a home loss to Arkansas State *shudder*) and as a result they have the lowest RPI in the conference, so this was a game Arkansas had to win to avoid the awful home loss on their resume. The Hogs won't get much credit for the win other than just the added W. The win pushes Arkansas to 7-3 in SEC play and likely remains in a tie for second place in the league, or sole possession of it if both Ole Miss and Texas A&M lose.