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Arkansas basketball survives late scare, knocks off Georgia

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Arkansas basketball survives late scare, knocks off Georgia


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — A sloppy second half nearly doomed the Arkansas basketball team Saturday against Georgia, but the Hogs (12-11, 3-7SEC) found a way to grind out their third conference victory of the season.

The Bulldogs (14-10, 4-7) erased a 10-point second half deficit thanks to a 1-3-1 zone defense and the Razorbacks trailed with less than two minutes remaining, but a clutch pass from Davonte Davis to a wide-open Makhi Mitchell for an easy layup with 54 seconds on the clock gave Arkansas a lead it would not relinquish.

Davis, who made his return to the program Saturday, also made a key free throw that gave Arkansas a three-point lead later on inside the final minute.

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Here are three observations from the Arkansas’ win.

Arkansas basketball goes small

The Razorbacks started the game with four guards, and outside of a brief stretch midway through the first half, Eric Musselman stuck with a smaller lineup. The decision paid off.

Arkansas trailed 19-15 with 9:18 in the first half when Musselman sent Tramon Mark in to replace center Makhi Mitchell. The Hogs closed the half on a 19-10 run, hanging tough on the boards despite the lack of size.

El Ellis, Keyon Menifield Jr., Davis and Mark played the entire stretch, with Mitchell and Jalen Graham sharing duties as the lone center. That four-guard combination also played a majority of the second half.

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Ellis went from logging zero minutes in two-straight games to playing a key role against Georgia, scoring 15 points to go with 5 rebounds and 3 assists. He also made a massive corner three-pointer with 1:42 remaining to give Arkansas a 72-70 lead.

It’s been an inconsistent season for the Louisville transfer, but Saturday was a positive. Ellis made shots, crashed the glass and only committed one turnover. Menifield also scored 15 points, while Mark had 13. Graham and Mitchell combined for 25 points and 8 rebounds.

But for all the good from this four-guard lineup, it struggled to take care of the ball against Georgia’s zone. The Hogs survived despite committing 8 sloppy second-half turnovers. Thankfully, most of those giveaways were not in a live-ball setting that allowed Georgia to get out in transition.

Three-point defense makes massive turnaround

Opposing teams had shot 47% from three in Arkansas’ last five games. Musselman has bemoaned the three-point defense all season, but the Hogs corralled Georgia from deep on Saturday.

More: Momentum stifled as Arkansas basketball gets blown out by LSU

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More: Davonte Davis rejoins Arkansas basketball team after stepping away from the program

The Bulldogs missed their first 11 shots from long-range and finished the evening shooting just 22% on threes. Georgia made a few key deep shots in the closing minutes, but the overall defensive improvement played a massive difference.

Hogs flip the script on turnovers

Giveaways were a huge issue in the Razorbacks’ loss to Georgia earlier this season, with the Bulldogs scoring 25 points off 15 Arkansas turnovers.

But it was Arkansas who caused the havoc on Saturday, scoring 21 points off 14 Georgia turnovers. The guard-heavy lineup injected some added speed and helped preventing dribble penetration.



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Arkansas

HawgBeat – Stranded runners cost Arkansas in 14-inning loss

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HawgBeat  –  Stranded runners cost Arkansas in 14-inning loss


Stranded runners wasted an excellent pitching performance by the Hogs’ pitching staff and cost Arkansas in its 2-1,14-inning loss to the Oklahoma State Cowboys on Saturday night at Globe Life Field.

A scoreless six-inning start by RHP Brady Tygart was all-for-not, as the Razorbacks finished the game 2-24 with runners on base and 8-52 overall.

“Yeah, I can’t talk about the zone too much, but you saw what I saw and everybody else saw it. It was pretty good size, especially to the outer half,” head coach Dave Van Horn said after the game. “You know, you just get two strikes on you, you got to go out there and — don’t let him make that last call on you. If it’s close, you’re going to have to take a swing at it.”

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Five Arkansas hitters recorded a hit and three went 0-for-5 or worse at the plate throughout the game. Designated hitter Hudson White, short-stop Wehiwa Aloy, catcher Ryder Helfrick and left fielder Jayson Jones were a combined 0-24 against the Cowboys.

The lone bright spot for Arkansas was third baseman Jared Sprague-Lott and right fielder Kendall Diggs, who each recorded clutch base hits. The duo combined for five knocks with only two strikeouts. Van Horn thinks thinks the team needs to make adjustments.

“Probably other team’s pitching is pretty good, and we’ve got to make some adjustments that we didn’t make tonight,” Van Horn said. But I don’t want to get into it.”

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Despite the strong showing by Arkansas’ deep bullpen, the Hogs coudn’t overcome offensive ineptitude as the game went deeper into the night. The Razorbacks ended up using six total pitchers in the outing and broke the program record for strikeouts in a matchup with 25

“Just a great job by the pitching staff,” Van Horn said. “You know, put some freshmen out in some really, really tough situations, and they answered the bell. Gained a lot of really good experience tonight. It was a tough loss, but give their pitching staff credit. They just kept getting us to roll over balls. We hit a lot of ground balls to the pull side. We had a lot of shots for a hit to grab the lead, but we never got it. Just a super job by our pitching staff.”

In the 14th inning, Oklahoma State finally broke through with a single and an error that advanced the runners to second and third. The Cowboys walked the game off with a squeeze on a bunt single. Even after the heartbreak, Van Horn wanted his team to be able to move on.

“Well, like I said, we’re not going to spend a lot of time out here talking,” Van Horn said. “We have another one tomorrow, so the message would be to go get some rest.

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Up next, No. 2 Arkansas (5-1) will take on the Michigan Wolverines (2-4) on Sunday afternoon at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. CT and will stream on FloSports.

**JOIN THE CONVERSATION WITH ARKANSAS FANS ON THE TROUGH, HAWGBEAT’S PREMIUM MESSAGE BOARD**



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Khalif Battle's 42 points lead Arkansas past Missouri 88-73

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Khalif Battle's 42 points lead Arkansas past Missouri 88-73


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Khalif Battle shattered his previous career high by scoring 42 points to help carry Arkansas to a season sweep of Missouri, 88-73 on Saturday, overshadowing a 33-point career-best effort by the Tigers’ Sean East II.

Battle topped his 32-point best mark with a pair of free throws with 7:27 left and followed it with a four-point play. He finished shooting 11 of 15 from the field, including 6 of 10 from beyond the arc, and 14 of 14 from the free-throw line.

“This is the best because it’s on the big stage,” Battle said. “This is the SEC and no game is easy. To be able to put 42 up and get the win and get the home crowd — there’s nothing better than this right here.”

East reached his career-best mark without attempting a 3-pointer, hitting 9 of 14 from the field and 15 of 16 from the free-throw line, easily topping his previous career mark of 25 set last week against Ole Miss.

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Connor Vanover dunked with 11:04 left to pull Missouri even at 50-50 and Nick Honor hit two free throws a minute later keep the Tigers within one, 53-52, but Battle hit back-to-back 3-pointers to start a 14-5 run to give the Razorbacks a 67-57 lead with more than five minutes left.

Arkansas (14-13, 5-9 SEC) was 25 of 52 from the field (48.1%), including 10 of 25 (40%) from distance. Makhi Mitchell had 13 points, six rebounds and three assists and Tramon Mark added 10 points, seven boards and three assists.

Honor finished with 14 points for Missouri and Tamar Bates went 6-for-6 from the free throw line to add 11.

Missouri (8-19) remains winless through 14 SEC games, has lost eight of its last 10 games with the Razorbacks and is 2-10 in games played in Fayetteville.

Arkansas plays host to Vanderbilt Tuesday. Missouri plays at No. 24 Florida Wednesday.

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Arkansas high school wrestling state tournament Day 2 live updates, results (2/24/2024)

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Arkansas high school wrestling state tournament Day 2 live updates, results (2/24/2024)


The Arkansas high school wrestling season ends Saturday at the Jack Stephens Center on the campus of UA-Little Rock. Boys and girls wrestlers will compete for individual and team titles as the semifinals kick off the morning. SBLive Arkansas brings you all the action from the entire day …



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