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TALE OF TWO HALVES: Razorbacks Win Opener With Second Half Surge

Arkansas wins their season opener behind an inspired second-half run and the scoring effort of JD Notae

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas relied on the scoring of JD Notae to earn a closer than expected victory over the Mercer Bears, 74-61, Tuesday night at Bud Walton Arena.

Nobody expected this one to be as close as it was for the first half.

Arkansas’ starting five consisted of KK Robinson, Davonte Davis, Stanley Umude, JD Notae, and Au’Diese Toney. Jaylin Williams was the first Razorback off the bench and immediately took a charge, a stat he regularly accumulated last season.

Notae led all scorers with 30 points including five 3-pointers. 

JD Notae

JD Notae

Perhaps the most anticipated player of the night was the debut of Miami grad-transfer Chris Lykes.

Lykes, recently named to the Naismith Award watch list, had a quiet first half contributing just 2 points; however, fans saw flashes of his quickness and ability to score in bunches as he finished the game scoring in double-figures.

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The Razorbacks struggled to defend the three-point line in the first half allowing Mercer to shoot 47.1% on 8-17 from behind the arc.

The Bears went into the half, leading the Razorbacks by 8 points, and Muss was clearly unhappy with his team’s intensity.

The Hogs played like an inspired team in the second half, racing to a 14-2 run that ignited the crowd and regained the lead for the Hogs.

Mercer didn’t go away quietly, shooting lights out from three, keeping the game close late into the second half. The Razorbacks eventually took the lead with six minutes remaining they never relinquished, sealing the opening-night victory.

The Hogs will now set their sights on Saturday, Nov. 13, for their next game against Gardner-Webb.

Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on SEC Network Plus.

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