Wow! What a game. Arkansas beats Auburn in Bud Walton Arena, 75-73.
I was worried we were in for another blow out and a meltdown from the fanbase. And for good reason. Arkansas looked no different on offense for the first 16 minutes of this game. At the 4:58 of the first half, Auburn led 37-18.
The crowd was growing restless and the team looked totally lost. But they slowly chipped away to be down by 12 at halftime.
The Hogs came out looking like they did before the LSU game. They looked like the team we had fell in love with. A team that fights, hustles, and scores the basketball.
Arkansas had an 8 point lead with just under 2 minutes to go, but Auburn went on a 7-0 run to pull within 1. With 2 seconds on the clock, Moses Moody made his 2nd free throw to make it 75-73. Allen Flanagan launched a deep throw at the horn that missed everything.
Arkansas improves to 11-4 and 3-4 in SEC play.
Jaylin Williams and Devo Davis were outstanding in this game. Williams was everywhere. Blocking shots, hit a 3, and really battling on the boards. He had 7 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks, and 1 steal. His +/- was the best on the team at +16!
Devo had 10 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists in his 20 minutes of play. Where Devo had the biggest impact was defending Sharife Cooper.
Truthfully, that was what changed the game. Eric Musselman employed a trapping, double team on Cooper. The ball was forced out of his hands and the Auburn offense struggled the rest of the way.
Cooper was still very productive with 25 points, 4 assists, and 4 rebounds.
The player of the game was Desi Sills. He looked like the Desi we know and love. Fearless drives to the basket to force fouls or hit really tough layups. He has his swagger back. Now Arkansas needs it to stay. The Razorbacks feed off of him. Sills isn’t the most talented Hog by a long shot, but where he goes, Arkansas goes.
Is this 2nd half what this Arkansas team needed? I don’t think there is any doubt. There is still cause for concern on another bad start, but it was encouraging to see them show some fight for the first time in 11 days.
The schedule sets up nicely now. The Hogs head to Vanderbilt this Saturday. Arkansas has won 6 straight in the series.
Thanks for reading! For all things Arkansas basketball, give me a follow on Twitter @BenBrandonHoops