The most consistent part of this Arkansas basketball team is its inconsistency. Arkansas led big at Rupp Arena but ultimately fell 70-66 to Kentucky.
The Hogs shocked a whole lot of people building a double digit lead in the first half. How? Look no further than the turnovers. Arkansas had just one turnover and forced the Wildcats into 12 turnovers. Even with Daniel Gafford getting two quick fouls, Arkansas had the offense going with Isaiah Joe’s 16 first half points. Reggie Chaney pitched in off the bench with eight points in the half as well.
The Arkansas lead grew to 45-30 before that inevitable Kentucky run started. A 16-3 Wildcat run in the middle of the second half gave them a lead they wouldn’t give up. Joe led the Hogs with 19 points, and battling foul trouble and a rolled ankle, Gafford put up 14 and eight boards. Desi Sills also put up a career high 15 points.
It was a great effort from the team against a top-5 opponent on the road, which leads to the question of where the hell was this the previous five games? This level of play certainly gets you wins over Missouri and Texas A&M. It puts you in a much better place for a potential NIT bid and you’re probably not looking at a Wednesday night appearance in the SEC Tournament.
It’s become another of many examples of inconsistency plaguing this season for the Hogs. There are 10-15 minute stretches where the team looks great, and others where things fall apart, both individually and from an entire team perspective. When everything is clicking, it looks like the road win at LSU or this first half. We just haven’t seen that level of play nearly often enough this year.