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Razorback basketball report: El Ellis gave Arkansas a boost against Bulldogs | Whole Hog Sports

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Razorback basketball report: El Ellis gave Arkansas a boost against Bulldogs | Whole Hog Sports


FAYETTEVILLE — El Ellis’ return to the starting lineup proved productive for the Arkansas Razorbacks in Saturday’s 78-75 win over Georgia at Walton Arena.

The senior guard scored 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting, went 3 of 6 from three-point range and had 5 rebounds and 3 assists.

Ellis had not played at all in the previous two games before making his 12th start of the season. The transfer from Louisville scored 10 of his points in the second half while making 4 of 6 shots with a pair of three-pointers.

“I’m in the gym every day,” Ellis said on the Razorback Sports Network. “Whether I play or not, I’ll be ready. Tonight my number was called and I was ready to play and I wanted to play.

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“I really feel like I can help this team. I’m just so happy we got that win and it’s so good to be out there.”

Arkansas Coach Eric Musselman discussed why Ellis made the starting lineup.

“I thought his practice habits were really good,” Musselman said. “With no mid-week game, we had a lot of time to adjust a lot of different things. I thought he was extremely focused, and so he got the start tonight.

“We’re still trying to search. Now we have nine guaranteed games left and we’re still trying to search. Based on matchups, we might have different lineups. That just might be who we are. It’s not what we’ve always done.”

Zone vibes

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Georgia got good mileage out of a 1-3-1 trapping zone in the second half, forcing the Razorbacks into late shot clocks on several possessions and a spate of turnovers.

“Yeah, we were hopeful, we were optimistic that it could change the outcome of the game,” said Georgia Coach Mike White, who mentioned the Bulldogs ran the 1-3-1 some in a loss at Mississippi State on Wednesday.

After falling behind 47-35, Georgia ran the trapping zone much of the rest of the way to narrow the gap.

“It just slowed them down a little bit,” White said. “They’re such a high-powered offense and they’ve got several guys that can pass, dribble, shoot, space you and make plays off the bounce. I thought it could potentially decrease our fouling amount.”

The Razorbacks were able to get some penetration at times against the zone with Tramon Mark hitting some jumpers, and also drew some fouls. Davonte Davis made a key pass for a Makhi Mitchell layup for a 74-72 Arkansas lead with 54 seconds remaining.

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“I thought we did a good job against [the] 1-3-1 defense, scoring 44 points in the second half,” Arkansas Coach Eric Musselman said. “They’re a good team, they’re a gritty team.”

Held down

Arkansas held Georgia’s leading scorer Jabri Abdur-Rahim to 2-of-6 shooting and 4 points after limiting him to 1-of 8-shooting and 5 points in the Bulldogs’ 76-66 win on Jan. 10.

That made the senior shooting guard, who averages 13.2 points per game, a combined 3 of 14 for 9 points against Arkansas.

“You’re going to have nights where you shoot it well and nights where you don’t shoot it well,” Georgia Coach Mike White said regarding Abdur-Rahim and Noah Thomasson. “Arkansas did a good job of defending those two guys. We had other guys step up offensively. I thought Silas [Demary] and Justin [Hill] were really good.”

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Thomasson scored 4 points on 2-of-8 shooting. 

Spin cycle

Jalen Graham put on another display with a series of spin moves, hooks, scoops and one-handed shots.

The 6-10 senior did almost all his damage in the first half by hitting 4 of 6 shots for 10 points. Graham finished 4 of 7 with 11 points while hitting 3 of 6 free throws.

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Georgia missed its first 11 three-point shots in the first half, including a stretch of 6 in a stretch of 3 minutes late in the half in which Arkansas extended its lead from 22-20 to 30-20.

The streak ended when Silas Demary hit a three-pointer from the right corner on a pass from 7-footer Russel Tchewa at the 2:20 mark to draw the Bulldogs within 30-25.

4-miss trip

The Razorbacks missed four consecutive free throws on one trip while holding a 55-53 lead.

The free-throw problems started with two misses by Makhi Mitchell at the 7:43 mark. Mitchell’s second miss caromed over the block on the left side and Keyon Menifield chased it down while going out of bounds and bounced it off Jalen Deloach’s thigh and out of bounds. 

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A few seconds later, Tramon Mark was fouled and missed both of his free throws. Georgia scored at the other end for a 55-55 tie and the teams were never separated by more than five points the rest of the game.

Stepping out

Arkansas guard Keyon Menifield stepped out of bounds three times in the second half as part of his five-turnover game.

Twice a Georgia big man cut off Menifield’s drives on the left baseline and bumped him to the end line to step out of bounds.

Later, with the game tied 59-59, Menifield caught a pass on the right wing but had a foot on the sideline for a turnover.

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Return of Devo

Guard Davonte Davis was the Hogs’ sixth man, checking in at the 17:23 mark for Jeremiah Davenport.

Davis, a senior from Jacksonville who had missed the previous three games while taking a break from the team, was greeted with a warm reception from the Walton Arena crowd.

Davis was the first player to hit a three-point shot in the game, with his long-distance shot on the right wing on a pass from El Ellis to tie the game at 15-15 with 10:12 left in the half.

Davis finished with 4 points on 1-of-1 shooting while also hitting 1 of 2 free throws.

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Saturday’s all right

The Razorbacks won a Saturday conference game for the first time after starting 0-5.

Arkansas won on a Saturday for the first time since a 106-90 decision over North Carolina-Wilmington on Dec. 30.

The Hogs improved to 3-6 on Saturdays this season.

In the house

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Two Razorback greats, including one of the famous “Triplets,” were among those in attendance.

Sidney Moncrief, a Little Rock native and member of the College Basketball and Naismith Memorial halls of fame, was introduced just prior to tipoff.

Joe Kleine, an Arkansas Hall of Honor member and long-time NBA standout, served as the color analyst on the SEC Network broadcast.

Both Moncrief and Kleine are members of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame.

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Arkansas Attorney General approves ballot proposal for medical marijuana law changes

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Arkansas Attorney General approves ballot proposal for medical marijuana law changes


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KARK/KAIT) – A group’s plan to put medical marijuana accessibility changes before Arkansas voters this November crossed a major milestone Tuesday.

Content partner KARK reported on Feb. 20, that Attorney General Tim Griffin approved the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Amendment of 2024.

If approved by voters, it would change the current medical marijuana laws (Amendment 98), increasing access for patients.

Proposed changes would include who is qualified to sign off on medical marijuana cards. That role is currently limited to doctors, but the proposal would add nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and pharmacists.

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You can read more about this story on KARK’s website.



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‘Separation Week’ begins for Arkansas women’s basketball at Texas A&M | Whole Hog Sports

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‘Separation Week’ begins for Arkansas women’s basketball at Texas A&M | Whole Hog Sports


FAYETTEVILLE — Mike Neighbors knows this week is important for his Arkansas women’s basketball team.

With the Razorbacks (18-9, 6-6 SEC) on the NCAA Tournament bubble in late February for the third consecutive season and with four games left on the regular-season schedule, games this week against Texas A&M and Vanderbilt will determine Arkansas’ postseason fate.

Arkansas will begin the critical two-game stretch Thursday at 7 p.m. in College Station, Texas, against Texas A&M (17-8, 5-7), a team one game behind the Razorbacks in the SEC standings, and finish it Sunday in Fayetteville against Vanderbilt (19-8, 6-7), which trails by 1/2 game.

The three teams are bunched at seventh, eighth and ninth place in the SEC standings. Perhaps more importantly, Arkansas, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt are jockeying for at-large berths to the Big Dance.

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Neighbors, in his seventh season coaching Arkansas, gave the two-game stretch a name: Separation Week. The Razorbacks have to separate themselves from the rest of the group.

“You can’t avoid it,” Neighbors said. “You don’t necessarily have to talk about it and harp on it, but you have this week sometime in February. [If you] look historically where we have been, it’s always sometime in February we have a week like this.

“It’s important that we do have good practice, good travel and everything goes as smooth as it can so we can hopefully peak at the right time.”

More from WholeHogSports: Arkansas at Texas A&M women’s basketball: How to watch and listen, notables, projected starters

ESPN’s most recent “Bracketology” forecasts Texas A&M, Vanderbilt and Auburn — three teams below Arkansas in the SEC standings — among the last four teams in the field of 68 teams. The Razorbacks are projected among the first four left out.

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Arkansas ended on the right side of the bubble in 2022 but was left out in 2023. Neighbors is relying on his returning players who felt the pain of being excluded from the NCAA Tournament last season to understand the situation.

“I don’t have to go in there with a big speech or a big presentation to let them know,” Neighbors said. “They read social media and they read the real news. They know it’s a big week. We won’t harp on it any extra.”

He noted that experience fighting for postseason positioning may help his team feel less pressure this go-round.

“It’s kind of like going to altitude for the first time,” Neighbors said. “The first time you’re in altitude, you think you’re going to die because you can’t breathe. And then the next time you go, you expect it. You can breathe and you can have a good time.

“And the third time you go, you can breathe and hike and play golf….So I think hopefully it’s helpful to us to know that [games are] all still worth one [on the team’s record], but they do tend to magnify as you start to run out of games on the back end of that deal, down to four regular season games.”

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The Aggies and Razorbacks will each likely be missing their top scorer.

Texas A&M guard Endyia Rogers leads the team with 12.8 points and 4 assists per game but has missed the Aggies’ last two games with a knee injury. 

Without Rogers in the mix, the Aggies have lost back-to-back games to Vanderbilt (49-45) and No. 13 LSU (81-56). Without the Oregon graduate transfer in those contests, the scoring output has been noticeably below Texas A&M’s season average of 69.5 points.

“We’re day-to-day,” Texas A&M coach Joni Taylor said of Rogers’ status following the LSU loss. “She is going to be out for some time. It’s not season-ending, but she won’t be back anytime soon.”

WATCH: Mike Neighbors previews Arkansas-Texas A&M women’s basketball game

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Arkansas freshman guard Taliah Scott, who is 10th in the nation with 22.1 points per game, returned home to Orange Park, Fla., due to an undisclosed “serious family emergency.” Scott missed Arkansas’ 75-68 win over Missouri on Sunday.

Neighbors said the timetable on a return for Scott will be day-to-day and requested for “everybody to continue to keep her in your thoughts.” He said the Razorbacks “will operate as if she’s not going to be here until we know that she is.”

Arkansas has an opportunity to win consecutive SEC games for the second time this season, while Texas A&M has yet to lose three in a row.

The Aggies present issues for the Razorbacks with their defense and rebounding.

Texas A&M ranks second in the SEC holding opponents to 36.1% shooting while Arkansas is last in the league with a 38.4% field goal percentage. The Aggies are third in the league with a 10.48 rebounding margin. In contrast, the Razorbacks are 13th with a -3.26 margin.

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Arkansas is 1-6 in conference play when it has been out-rebounded.

“They can disrupt you on the perimeter knowing that there’s somebody back there around the basket to change your shots, if not block them,” said Neighbors, who later credited the Aggies’ style to the identity of Taylor-coached teams. “And then they rebound it really well. You don’t get a lot of second opportunities. They do it without fouling.

“It will be important for us to be aggressive but also have some wisdom about where our shots come and when they come.”



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Arkansas governor makes Magnolia ‘Capital for a Day’ | magnoliareporter.com – Daily News in Arkadelphia, Arkansas

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Arkansas governor makes Magnolia ‘Capital for a Day’ | magnoliareporter.com – Daily News in Arkadelphia, Arkansas


South Arkansas News

Governor Sarah Sanders has proclaimed Magnolia to be Arkansas’ “Capital for a Day” on Thursday.

Magnolia will momentarily serve as Arkansas’ seat of government while Governor Sanders and other senior state government officials visit and work in Magnolia.

The governor’s office has issued a preliminary schedule of events but only one with a specific place and time.

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CLICK HERE to read the full article for free at magnoliareporter.com.





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