FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Call it what you will but the Arkansas Razorback Men’s Basketball team, 21-6 (10-4 SEC) found themselves on the winning side of a gritty game in Bud Walton Arena on Saturday. They picked up a 58-48 win in front of a sold-out crowd.
Afterwards, Razorback head coach, Eric Musselman included the ugliness of the game during his press conference.
“We are not always cosmetically pleasing to watch but man do we play hard,” said Mussleman.
The students rallied everyone in the Natural State to wear red and the basketball team played along wearing their red road jerseys to create another great atmosphere inside the Palace of Mid-America. The Razorbacks have won 11 of their last 12 games of the season and have defeated seven of their previous eight against top-25 competition.
Yes, there was elite defense being played but a lot of point blank shots and layups missed by the Razorbacks (6 of 17). The Hogs weren’t sharp from beyond the arc shooting 23-percent (5 of 22) and only 31-percent overall (18-59). Arkansas was able to force Tennessee into 15 turnovers scoring 10 points off of those.
#16 Tennessee scored 2 points off turnovers and 14 points in the paint today, both of which are the fewest scored in those categories by an @AP_Top25 team against @RazorbackMBB since at least 2013-14.— HogStats.com (@HogStats) February 20, 2022
The Razorbacks shot well from the free throw line going 17-22.
This game was back and forth with neither team leading by more than four points until Devo Davis’ second three pointer of the day extended the Razorback lead to seven. The Hogs finished the game on a 18-7 run.
It was another day at the office for Jaylin Williams as he recorded his fourth straight double-double against the Volunteers and ninth in past 13 games.
The last ten @RazorbackMBB players to get 13+ points and 16+ rebounds in a game:— HogStats.com (@HogStats) February 20, 2022
Jaylin Williams (today)
Nick Davis (3x)
Corliss Williamson (2x)
Oliver Miller (2x)
“Jaylin Williams just keeps getting better and better,” said Eric Musselman after the victory. Williams scored 13 points and grabbed 16 rebounds for Arkansas. JD Notae didn’t necessarily have a great shooting night but still led the Hogs with 13 points.
Defense was stellar again for the Razorbacks as they shutdown the Tennesse offense. The Volunteers shot only 27-percent from the field and 16-percent from three. True freshman, Zakai Zeigler led them with 12 points in a team high 33 minutes off the bench. Uraguay native, Santiago Vescovi used to eat up Arkansas as a freshman but was held in check with only seven points. He shot 2 of 13 from the field and 1 of nine from three.
It is also worth noting that Arkansas is 2-0 this season in games where the students organized a color-out. They have a “stripe-out” next Saturday as Kentucky pays a visit to Fayetteville.
Arkansas returns to the hardwood Tuesday to face the Florida Gators on the road. The Razorbacks have only won in Gainesville once since joining the SEC and that was during the 1995 season. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN2 and will start at 6 PM.
Jacob is the managing editor of Arkansas Fight. If you like his content, follow him on Twitter @jacobscottdavis.