FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.— Fordham had success in the first few minutes, hitting some very good, contested shots, and jumped ahead to their biggest, and only, lead of the night 7-2. Arkansas then held Fordham to an 8-and-a-half-minute scoring drought and jumped ahead 7-13. From then on, it was all Hogs.
Arkansas was dominant on defense against the Rams, stealing the ball 13 times, forcing 30 turnovers, blocking 4 shots, and winning the rebound battle 38-29. Fordham was only 37.8% (17-45) from the field and 23.5% (4-17) from the 3-point line.
Makhi Mitchel and Devo Davis led the Hogs with 3 steals each,and Trevon Brazile led the team with 8 boards coming off the bench.
One of the biggest critiques of last year’s Elite 8 team was their inability to get vertical on defense. Now Arkansas’s length all over the court is helping fix that problem. Makhi Mitchel, Anthony Black, and Trevon Brazile each recorded a blocked shot, 2-1-1 respectively. This includes a wild sequence about 6 minutes into the game where Brazile swiped away a fadeaway jumper from Fordham’s Antrel Charlton, only to lead to another denial by Makhi under the rim shortly thereafter.
Eric Musselman stated after the game that, “Defensively, I thought we were phenomenal, and I don’t use that word often.”
Arkansas’s great defense almost instantly became the driving force for their offense, scoring 30 points on 30 takeaways. The Hogs made 46.2% (30-65) of their shots but they were not great from deep, only making 2 of their 16 attempts (12.5%). Arkansas finished with 17 assists to Fordham’s 7.
Ricky Council continues to be electric for the Razorbacks. Council—15 points, 7 asst., 4 reb., and 2 steals—led the team in points and assists and made another SportsCenter Top 10 typeplay.
Following close behind Council in points were the two freshmen, Anthony Black (10 pts, 6 rebs., 1 stl) and Jordan Walsh (12 pts, 4 rebs., 1 asst.)
The Hogs will move on to next week’s match-up with South Dakota State on Wednesday, November 16th in Bud Walton Arena. South Dakota State will be the last game before the Hogs head to Hawaii for the 2022 Maui Invitational beginning the week of Thanksgiving.