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Pearls on Swine: A W is a W

The Arkansas basketball squads had quite a lot of enjoyable Saturday, and for each the ladies and men, they seized the prospect to exorcise a previous weekend full of missteps.

Mike Neighors’ girls had been clipping alongside relatively properly at 8-2, with its solely losses to No. 2 UCLA and Marquette. Then final Sunday, a sleepy day at Bud Walton Area turned relatively horrific, when Arkansas basically mirrored the lads’s staff’s UNC-Greensboro gaffe. Arkansas-Pine Bluff performed composed and cozy, and the Hogs allowed second-half capturing woes and turnovers to cripple them in a 74-70 upset loss.

They mounted that for the second with appreciable vigor in an admittedly sluggish 68-54 win over Samford. Samara Spencer had a game-high 20 factors and Arkansas once more needed to overcome sloppy perimeter ball management. After Pine Bluff shockingly out-rebounded the Hogs by 15, Neighbors stored Saylor Poffenberger close to the basket and he or she responded with 13 rebounds and Maryam Duda grabbed 9 and blocked three pictures.

Brian Chilson
Woman Razorback Makayla Daniels

Now sitting at 9-3, the Hogs restored order by getting again to a bodily model of play, with a 28-12 paint benefit that basically spelled the ultimate margin. That can’t reduce any as soon as SEC play begins, they usually’ve nonetheless acquired three completely winnable video games earlier than the tip of 2023 (Illinois and Illinois-Chicago in a pre-Christmas journey to West Palm Seaside, then a New Yr’s Even tilt towards Incarnate Phrase).

The one downside was a reasonably pedestrian introduced crowd of simply over 2,500, which is pretty shameful provided that the ladies’s staff has been a supply of steadiness beneath Neighbors too. Perhaps any illusions of being a dominant staff stay that, however it is a actually nice-looking group the sixth-year coach has put collectively, and candidly, they deserved a greater turnout.

The quiet however vital win was somewhat muted too by the information that Arkansas quarterback Ok.J. Jefferson lastly pulled off the Band-Assist that he was hitting the switch portal. Combined emotions although which may convey amongst followers who felt that he regressed as participant and chief in 2023, it simply echoed the continuing awkwardness of the current awkwardness of this period of main school sports activities.

Brian Chilson

Happily, the nightcap basketball sport between the lads of Lipscomb and Arkansas supplied ample pleasure and last-minute gasps in horror.

Arkansas had an eight-point halftime lead due to Tramon Mark canning three treys and Jalen Graham giving a pleasant enhance to the inside offense. Makhi Mitchell additionally was assertive on each ends. Then, the Hogs stretched its margin to twenty halfway via the half, and the throaty crowd just about felt safe at 59-39.

Why, although? The tendency of Eric Mussleman’s groups to make beatdowns into back-and-forths continued. The Bisons reeled off a gradual however 23-4 run to get inside a single level on the 4:30 mark, the Hogs turning astonishingly chilly for a stretch. And Lipscomb began abusing the Hogs on the offensive glass regardless of the Hogs having quite a lot of dimension on the courtroom down the stretch.

It was all of the sudden 63-62 and Lipscomb missed a couple of lengthy threes that will’ve modified the lead. What lastly, mercifully ended the Bisons’ spectacular comeback bid have been two extraordinarily important Mitchell baskets that fired the gang up for the ultimate two minutes.

The Hogs then proved they really may very well be closers. Jeremiah Davenport made a terrific chase-down block after Arkansas’s 14th and ultimate turnover, which acquired whistled for aim tending. After a prolonged assessment modified nothing, Mark’s open midrange jumper rimmed out, however the Bisons try additionally rimmed out and Davis made an enormous bucket in shut for a 69-66 lead with 23 seconds remaining.

One other bid for a tie by Lipscomb clanged instantly into Davis’ palms. In fact the senior made these important performs late, however was largely a non-factor too, with 4 turnovers and 4 whole factors. It clearly shouldn’t be but evident whether or not the newly-eligible Keyon Menifield might help alleviate the problems within the again courtroom, however the Washington switch did present vitality and energy, and it vanished when he left the sport.

Trevon Brazile’s inconsistency at each ends has been, frankly, greater than somewhat maddening. Six factors, six rebounds, and a few turnovers received’t minimize it for the gifted ahead, however he’s performed properly in most different victories. He was an enormous cause the Hogs scuffled to 4 losses within the first ten video games, too, as a result of he was ineffective and ailing in blowouts towards Oklahoma and North Carolina, and made no discernible influence towards Greensboro or Memphis.

This wasn’t a simple win, and subsequently wasn’t an excellent one. Lipscomb’s file fell to a mediocre 7-6, however for a substantial stretch of the second half, the Bisons assaulted the Hogs on the offensive glass and Owen McCormack and Will Pruitt, good however undersized gamers, blistered a confused protection. Lipscomb additionally notably employed a zone down the stretch; Arkansas responded because it often does, by a 5-for-14, oh-fer from three end.

Razorbacks males’s coach Eric Musselman

Musselman, heated at instances once more, wore a extra involved face postgame. He didn’t exhibit quite a lot of negativity within the press convention, however he had some clear and current phrases of frustration.

“We gotta get higher, in so many areas,” he stated. “We performed an excellent basketball sport towards Purdue, and an excellent sport towards Duke. We [needed] to be higher within the different video games.”

Like the ladies’s sport, it was aesthetically missing. However for 2 groups coming off some tough days, profitable two gave some wanted reduction as the vacations method.


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