That was ugly!
Things were bleak. Arkansas was in a hole. A big hole. The Hogs only made two baskets in the first 7:41 of the game and were down 10 early. They fought back and tied the game on the first possession after halftime, then they went down by 12 again with 12:51 to go. Arkansas only scored 32 points in the first 24 minutes of the game. That’s a bad ratio.
But then Manny Watkins and Moses Kingsley hit some threes (!) and the Hogs were back in it, but still trailed by six with five minutes to go.
Arkansas simply needed A&M to stop making field goals. And thankfully, the Aggies complied. They did not make a field goal in the 6:52. They only made four free throws in the last minute - enough to make it interesting - but the new strategy of keeping them scoreless proved beneficial for the Razorbacks.
The Razorbacks didn’t get their usual production from some of their guards, but got enough. Only Daryl Macon and Kingsley finished in double digits, and most of Macon’s came from the free throw line late in the second half. It was Arkansas’ lowest point total of the season. Dusty Hannahs and Watkins each scored nine points. Arlando Cook had a solid game with 6 points and 7 rebounds.
This was the beginning of an important stretch for the Razorbacks. Counting this game, three of the upcoming four games are on the road for Arkansas. The one home game is against woeful LSU. The Hogs need to win some road games to get back off the bubble, and this game was a big help. Now the two games next week, at Vanderbilt and Oklahoma State, loom large.
The Aggies are a borderline top 100 team right now, and have been pretty disappointing this season. Arkansas will face them again in Fayetteville in late February. The Razorbacks will need to win that one too. Hopefully, they’ll score more than 62 points that night.