The Arkansas Razorbacks got a huge win on the road against the #10 Missouri Tigers. Arkansas’s 86-81 win in overtime is enormous for their tournament prospects, as they hit the home stretch of the SEC season.
The Hogs (16-5, 8-4) are tied for second in the conference. The Tigers (13-5, 6-5) fall to sixth and they have until Monday to enjoy that top ten status.
In the first half, Mizzou built up a lead behind three-point shooting from unexpected places. Mitchell Smith, the Van Buren product, got two of those early.
Moses Moody kept the Hogs in the game early, but had to sit quite a while due to foul trouble.
Moody grabbed 16 points, including the Hogs’ first seven. Early foul trouble may have derailed a big-time-stats game for the potential NBA lottery pick, but he came up big, especially in overtime.
Missouri took a 35-31 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The game became much faster-paced (and, clearly, more fun) when the Hogs started hitting some shots after halftime. The Hogs quickly grabbed a lead and maintained it for much of the second half. They led by four with 90 seconds to go, when Mizzou made a little run.
Seldom-used Tiger Parker Braun had a big final minute, when he got the tying lay-up and followed it up with a block on the other side to send the game to overtime.
Justin Smith, out of the gate in overtime, got two big points to get the Hogs to a good start in the extra period. He finished with a team-high 19 points and 6 rebounds. His night was capped off with a sweet alley-oop, courtesy of Jalen Tate, to again take the lead in overtime.
The two squads traded leads throughout overtime, even with Missouri getting just one field goal in the extra period. They buttered their bread at the free-throw line.
Missouri’s Xavier Pinson led all scorers with 23 points, including 5/8 shooting from three-point land. The Tigers were clearly a different team when he was on the court.
For what it’s worth, the Tigers also really missed Jeremiah Tilmon, who missed the game due to a personal issue. He really ate the Hogs up in Fayetteville last month.
Ah well. They didn’t put an asterisk next to their win when Arkansas had Justin Smith missing.
Anyway, the last thirty seconds of overtime got wild. Missouri was up one, when Devo Davis’s cutter inside got the Hogs the lead, 82-81.
After a timeout from Missouri, Dru Smith drove down for what was initially called a goal-tended lay-up. On review, the referees recognized that Jalen Tate had gotten to the ball before it struck the backboard. That was corrected, but because of the possession arrow, the Tigers were given one more chance to grab the lead.
Once again, Dru Smith tried for a lay-up that didn’t go down, Parker Braun got an offensive rebound, but before he could figure out what to do with it, he’d lost the ball to Moses Moody.
From there, it was clutch free throws from Moody and Justin Smith.
The Hogs could’ve folded when things got tight. Last year, they lost an overtime game in Columbia. This year, they win, and they’re much closer to getting in on some March Madness.