WACO, Texas. — Arkansas came into Waco looking for payback from their old SWC foes. Baylor ended the Hogs 2021 NCAA tournament run short in the elite 8 round. Only Devo Davis and Kamani Johnson for the Hogs, and Baylor’s Flo Thamba were a part of those teams, but it didn’t stop today’sgame from feeling like a tournament game.
The Hogs struggle in the opening minutes of the first half. Apart from a dunk from Makhi Mitchell in the first two minutes, the offense only started to wake up with a 3-point bucket by Ricky Council IV at the 14:54 mark.
By that point, Baylor had grown a sizable lead. The Bearsknocked down the next 4-8 from the field, including two 3-point shots to double up the Hogs 16-8. Council then led the Hogs on an 11-4 run to tie the game at 20.
Arkansas would have continued that run, but a badly called blocking foul on Makhi Mitchell (which should have been a charge on Keyonte George) resulted in an and-one basket. Eric Musselman rightly argued the call but was issued a technical foul. Altogether, it resulted in a 5-point possession for the Bears.
The Hogs held Baylor without a field goal for the rest of the half and scored 13 unanswered points to go into halftime up 33-27. Baylor missed 16 of their last 17 field goals while the Razorbacks made 11 of their last 13.
Baylor quickly jumped back into the game in the second half, in part due to the 8 fouls called on the Razorbacks in the first 5 minutes and 21 seconds of the half. Baylor played in the bonus for the last 14:39 of the game.
Despite the early adversity, Arkansas only fell behind by more than 5 for a few seconds the rest of the half. For every shot Baylor made, it seemed like Arkansas always had an answer, nipping at the Bear’s heels until the final buzzer.
Down by 3 with as many seconds left on the clock, Baylor’s LJ Cryer smartly fouled Devo Davis at half-court before he could take a shot. Devo went to the line for a one-and-one with a chance to shorten the deficit to 1. Davis missed the front end ofhis free throw shots, but fortunately, the rebound was tipped to Joseph Pinion waiting in the corner. Pinion sent up the desperation shot but bounced it off the top of the backboard.
Baylor wins the SEC/BIG 12 challenge 67-64.
Baylor really won the game from the line, shooting 13 more freethrows than the Hogs and knocking down 15 more. Arkansas only allowed Baylor to shoot 20-59 (34%) and just 6-18 (33%) from 3-point range, which is Baylor’s bread and butter. Both teams were dead even on rebounds, recording 35 boards a piece.
Arkansas had a very good game offensively. The Hogs shot an insane 60% (27-53) and 28% from 3-point range. More than half of Arkansas’s baskets were assisted. The Hogs recorded 16 assists but were a bit sloppy with 15 turnovers. Granted, 11 of those turnovers were in the first half when the hogs led by 6.
Ricky Council had himself a game with a team-high 25 points. Devo Davis was second on the team with 16 but tied Jalen Graham in assists with 4 each. Graham was a monster underneath the rim with a team-high 9 boards. Makhel Mitchell and Anthony Black followed close behind with 7 and 6, respectively.
The Hogs are back in Fayetteville on Monday to continue SEC play versus Texas A&M. The Aggies are on a tear right now, winning 6 of their last 7 games since starting SEC play. Their lone loss was at Kentucky 76-67. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:00 CST.