Arkansas’s first game back from the Maui Invitational seemed to lack the same energy that they showed up to Hawaii with. Whether they were still tired from the intense tournament, overlooked their opponent, or were still just full from Thanksgiving dinner, the Hogs looked like they were just going through the motions.
On the other hand, Troy came out early full of energy, jumping Arkansas passing lanes and outmaneuvering Arkansas’s frontcourt for some tough points in the paint. The Trojans only recorded six steals but were constantly creating havoc for Arkansas’s offense.
In the first half, Arkansas found some luck early in the paint with Makhi Mitchell, making the Razorbacks’ first 6 points. Troy’s zone defense began to give Arkansas fits as they began to settle for 3s or mid-range jumpers that had trouble falling. Troy, meanwhile, hit very tough shots throughout the first 20 minutes with acrobatic shots in the paint or contested 3-point shots.
The Trojans’ 3-point shot, however, is what kept them in the game, hitting 6 of 14 in the first half. Troy led or was tied for all but 1:36 in the half and went into the locker room up by two.For the first 13 minutes and 36 seconds of the second half, it was much of the same. It wasn’t until a layup by Ricky Council at the 6:24 mark that sparked a 19-3 run by Arkansas to finish the game. Of those 19 points, 11 were scored by Council including a violent one-hand slam in transition.
Hogs win 74-61
Arkansas was pretty efficient from the field knocking down 52.9% of their shots (27-51) and were 3-11 (27.3%) from the 3-point line. The Hogs were not as friendly with the ball as they were in past games, only generating 4 assists.
On defense, Arkansas held the Trojans to 42.9% from the field (24-56) but gave up 32.1% from deep (9-28). They won the rebound battle 33-26 and forced Troy to turn the ball over 18 times.
Ricky Council led the team in points scoring 27 with most coming in the second half. Makhi Mitchell and Anthony Black followed with 14 points each. Mitchell and Black also led the team in rebounds with 9 and 8 boards, respectfully.
The Razorbacks move on to a 6-2 San Jose State who comes to Bud Walton Arena on Saturday, December 3.