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Survive and Advance: Arkansas Wrecks Texas Tech to Advance to Sweet 16

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NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Syracuse at West Virginia Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Grab your blood pressure pills! the Hogs are in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1996. These games never come easy for the Hoop Hogs, and give major credit to Texas Tech; They played an outstanding game down the stretch. While the Hogs led by double digits for a good portion of the second half, Tech showed their scoring prowess by going on their own run towards the end of the contest. It was not enough, however, as a missed layup by Kyler Edwards led to a Notae rebound, and the Hogs are advancing.

Game of Runs

If Coach Musselman has taught us anything in the last two seasons, it’s that basketball is a game of runs. The Hogs started the day by going on a quick 5-0 run of their own before Tech got hot and stormed past them to take a 10 point lead midway through the first half.

A heavy contributor to that run was the work on the glass that Tech was putting in. They got as many offensive rebounds as they wanted, and as a result, they limited the Hogs to working the transition game that makes their offense so effective.

Towards the end of the second half, the Hogs found themselves up by 13 points, and once again Texas Tech went on a run, this time 14-2, to cut the lead to a single possession. Tech never took the lead in the second half, though, and a big part of that is due to the rebounding game of Jaylin Williams.

Jaylin Williams: A Human Rebounding Machine

As stated earlier, a big part of Tech’s game in the first half was their work on the glass. In the second half, the entire Razorback squad made adjustments and worked their way down low to keep the Red Raiders off the boards.

Although the Hogs finished the game -2 on the boards, 36-38, in the second half the Hogs led the rebounding category. Freshman Jaylin Williams was a big part of that by finishing the game with 10 rebounds. Justin Smith, Devo Davis, and Moses Moody all finished with 6 boards.

The Story in the Numbers

As the final buzzer sounded in Hinkle Arena, the Hogs found themselves on top. They shot the ball extremely well and finished the game shooting 41.9% on 26-62 shooting, despite only shooting 4-17 from the three. Defensively, they held Texas Tech to 36.1% from the field, and they gave up 10 threes, many of which were what fueled the late-game run by the Red Raiders.

Justin Smith led all scorers, finishing with 20 points to go along with 6 rebounds. Moses Moody, while laying low in the first half, ended the game with 15 points to go along with the 6 rebounds of his own. Devo Davis, who averages 9 points per game, also finished with 15 points and 6 rebounds.

Devo Davis: The Spark Plug

It was Davis’ spark that kept the Hogs’ motor running throughout the game. He played unrelenting defense on Red Raiders guard Mac McClung. He rarely let McClung get an open look, and kept his foot on the gas all night. You will rarely find someone who will outwork Devo on the court.

To that end, it is unlikely that you will find someone who will outwork Davis anywhere. He typically posts on Twitter at late hours of the night of him in an empty gym, working on his game. Legendary Head Hog Nolan Richardon said that he is one of the most underrated players in the basketball program.

Survive and Advance

There will be some more in-depth articles published later after the tournament, but for now, the Hogs are advancing! They will continue their run in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1996 and will play the winner of Oral Roberts and Florida. That game will take place on either Saturday or Sunday, and the time will be announced later.

For more on the Hogs, follow me on Twitter @danielfair88! #WPS