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Defense Leads Hogs to Win in Little Rock

Hogs win a sloppy one.

NCAA Basketball: Missouri at Arkansas Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Sometime you gotta win ugly, the Hogs didn’t do that against Western Kentucky but they did against UTSA, getting out of Little Rock with a 79-67 win. Arkansas won largely with defense, who had an excellent stretch in each half that held the Roadrunners unable to score and that was enough to get by with an offense that wasn’t firing on all cylinders.

In the first half, Arkansas found themselves down early, but forced UTSA to miss 12 straight shots that led to an 11-2 Hog run that turned a 17-12 defecit into a 23-19 lead. In the second half, the Roadrunners made just three of their final 18 shots. Before that point UTSA had a 50-48 lead and the Hogs outscored them 31-17 to close things out.

Offensively things, never really got going but a TON of free throws late helped the numbers out. Three different UTSA players fouled out, two more had four fouls and Arkansas shot 24 free throws in the second half alone. And it was a good night at the line for the Hogs who finished shooting 79.4% from the charity stripe.

Isaiah Joe’s three point shooting in the first half led him to leading the team in scoring with 21. He was one of four Hogs in double figures. Reggie Chaney had a very nice stretch at the start of the second half and scored 11. Daniel Gafford overcame a slow start and finished with 13 points and 14 rebounds. He wasn’t the only player with a double double, as Jalen Harris finished with 11 points and 10 assists and zero turnovers. His final one to a cutting Mason Jones led to the dagger layup that put the Hogs up seven with under a minute to go.

Now at 7-2 the Hogs have a midweek clash with Georgia Tech, which should be a good challenge for the Hogs. It will take a better offensive game, but if the defense is there like tonight, the Hogs have a good shot, like they do in most games.