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RECAP: Second-half Woes for the Hogs Lead to Loss Against A&M

NCAA Basketball: Arkansas at Texas A&M Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

College Station, (Tx.) — After a win in Fayetteville the last go around, Arkansas looked to sweep the aggies and grab a quad 1 win at the same time. The first half was a good start. Offensively, both Arkansas and Texas A&M were anemic in the opening minutes. Apart from the opening shot by the Aggies’ Wade Taylor IV, a 3-point jumper by Devo Davis, and a 90-second stretch where back-to-back-to-back shots were made, there was no offense in the first 7 minutes. A dunk by MakhelMitchell brought the score to 10-4 in favor of the Hogs, andbriefly ended the defensive stalemate that then proceeded for another 4 minutes.

At the 9:43 mark, Dexter Dennis made a 3-pointer that sparked both teams. Arkansas found its rhythm on the back of Jordan Walsh and Devo Davis. Davis had a team-high 11 points at halftime, including 3-4 from deep. Walsh helped in other ways. He played great defense, attacked both the offensive and defensive boards, and was a great energy guy coming off the bench.

The Hogs grew the lead to 12 points in the last 30 seconds of the half, but A&M’s Hayden Hefner made a buzzer-beater, 3-point bucket—his only basket of the night—to shorten the deficit to 9.

The Aggies took the momentum into halftime and brought it back out with them in the second half. A&M knocked down their next 5 shots. Three of those were from deep and one was a layup with an and 1 foul. It resulted in a 17-4 run, counting Hefner’s bucket before halftime.

Another 3-point basket by Davis at the 15:52 mark ended the Aggies’ run. It was back-and-forth for the next 10 minutes, with the Aggies answering every shot from the Hogs. With a little under 6 minutes left in the game, Arkansas hit another dry spell.

Arkansas had a chance down by 2, with 2:43 left to at least tie it up. Devo Davis missed the front end of a 1-and-1 but stole the ball at the other end of the court. On his drive to the bucket, he was fouled and awarded two shots. Davis missed those two shots, and to make matters worse, Jordan Walsh was called for his 5th foul trying to rebound Devo’s free throw. After that miss, the Razorbacks had no other choice but to foul to stay in the game.

Anthony Black made a jumper and the and-1 after he was fouled with 12 seconds on the clock—the only points Arkansas scored in the last 6 minutes. Alas, it was too little, too late. Texas A&M win 62-56.

Arkansas shot 44% (22-50) from the field and 31% (5-16) from 3-point range. Their free throw percentage, however, was abysmal, only knocking down half of their attempts (7-14). They did share the ball really well, recording 17 assists to just 13 turnovers.

The Hogs held A&M to just 35% (19-54) from the field but allowed the Aggies to shoot 50% (6-12) from beyond the arch. The Aggies were also much better at getting, and capitalizing on free throw opportunities, going 18-22. A&M also won the rebound battle 36-33 and only turned the ball over 9 times.

Devo Davis recorded a team-high 14 points, followed by Makhi Mitchell with 11. Anthony Black had a game-high in assists with an impressive 8 recorded. The only other players on the court to come close were Ricky Council IV and A&M’s Wade Taylor IV with 4 a piece. Makhi Mitchell led the team with 9 rebounds. Jordan Walsh and Council also recorded 5 boards.

Arkansas hopes to bounce back with a win against the Florida Gators on February 18th in Bud Walton. The Gators will be without their star big man, Collin Castleton, who broke his hand in tonight’s win against Ole Miss. Tipoff is scheduled for 1:00 pm CST.