Arkansas got off to probably their best start of the season. An 11-0 start in front of a sold out crowd that was absolutely rocking. Then Kentucky took that punch, shook it off, and systematically took apart Arkansas for the remainder of the game. They left Fayetteville with a 87-72 win.
Daryl Macon gave a huge effort with 26 points but didn’t get consistent enough help from elsewhere. After a slow start, Kevin Knox got going for the Wildcats and there was nothing Arkansas could do to stop him. He finished with 23 hitting from everywhere on the court.
After the initial run, Arkansas was able to hold onto the lead for most of the first half. They had a 40-35 lead with 90 seconds left in the half and looked poised to take the lead into halftime, things fell apart and Kentucky put together an 8-0 run in just a minute. An ankle breaker and a three from Macon was all that put Arkansas in the half with the tie.
From there on out Kentucky showed they were the more talented, more athletic, and more poised team. Every time Arkansas had a punch, the Wildcats responded with a bigger punch. Anton Beard had a pull up three to give the Hogs a 61-56 lead and Bud Walton was rocking again. Kentucky would answer with a run of six straight made shots that sparked a 25-5 run that Arkansas couldn’t recover from.
Kentucky showed where Arkansas’ biggest weakness lies. They feasted on the smaller guards and used their athleticism and length to their advantages. Multiple times in the second half a Wildcat guard blew past their man and set up an easy alley oop for a big man. Kentucky just throws wave after wave of athleticism at you and the Razorback bench just couldn’t handle it.
Kentucky got back in the game with their bench and they combined with Knox killed the Hogs. The Kentucky bench had 38 points and 27 rebounds. Arkansas’ just had six points and seven rebounds. During the four game winning streak, Arkansas had gotten big contributions from guys like Gabe Osabuohien, Darious Hall, and CJ Jones. Tonight they looked completely overmatched. Those three played a combined 36 minutes and put up two points (1/9 shooting), and three rebounds.
Arkansas still has some chances to get that solidifying win, but two of the three come on the road, and all are against teams that are hard to beat and are playing well. Not getting this one, especially after the quick start, is especially deflating.