Mike Anderson just took his supposed lowly rebuilding team into Columbia and delivered a historical beatdown to his former program.
Arkansas' 33-point victory is the biggest margin of victory for the Razorbacks in an SEC road game ever. That includes the great teams of the '90s and the best teams of the last decade, including last year's team that needed the fortune of two missed free throws at the buzzer to escape with a one-point victory. It was Missouri's worst-ever loss in their home arena that opened in 2005 and the 94 points are the most points anybody has scored against the Tigers since Kansas in 2007.
It was so bad the SEC Network at one point dug up the highlights from Arkansas' legendary 120-68 demolition of Big 8 champion Missouri from December 1993 and talked about it
With this victory, Arkansas is now 9-7 overall and 3-1 in the league. It's a very nice start to conference play. Granted, Mississippi State and Missouri are candidates to finish in the bottom four of the league, but it's hard to deny that Arkansas still has played very, very well - and in different ways.
The Razorbacks beat Mississippi State easily because they were lights out from three. The Hogs were still very good from three against Missouri, but only 8 of their shots from deep. Arkansas was really hot inside the arc against Missouri, converting 29 of 44 shots (65%). Moses Kingsley was perfect from the field, going 8-8 for 24 points, five rebounds, and four blocks. Dusty Hannahs was 8-10 to reach 20 points, and only four of those shots were threes.
Jimmy Whitt reached a new career high with 15 points on 7-11 shooting. Whitt, a Columbia native, reached double figures in five of Arkansas' first six games, but has struggled since until this game. Let's hope this game is a trigger for a season turnaround. It would be big for the Hogs if he can produce like this more consistently.
Anton Beard also had his best game since coming back, scoring 14 points. Reigning SEC Player of the Week Anthlon Bell had 12.
Arkansas grabbed the lead 18 seconds into the game and rolled throughout. Missouri did get the lead to single digits briefly in the second half, but it wasn't for long. The Tigers were held to 38.8% shooting and unlike the first half when they ridiculously got to the free throw line 17 times (Arkansas only shot 3 in the first half), they only got to the stripe 6 times in the second half. If the Hogs had kept them off the line in the first half, the final margin likely would have been much worse.
No matter how good or bad Missouri is, Arkansas proved they could play well and win on the road, and they're not reliant on one way to win. The Hogs can get hot from deep, and they can score in the paint. This is the first time the Hogs have won three straight games all season, and the team should be playing with a lot of confidence as they begin a tougher stretch against LSU in Baton Rouge on Saturday and follow it up with Kentucky's trip to Bud Walton next week.
It's a run of games against many of the league's better teams over the next few weeks. This is when we'll find out how good this team really is.
Regardless, it doesn't seem too shabby for a rebuilding team.