FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas was never in danger during its last tune-up game before the Maui Classic next week.
In what was a ho-hum game that saw South Dakota State, which was playing its second game in two nights 650 miles apart, finish on a 20-7 run and still lose 71-56.
This highlight pretty much summed it up.
Keep in mind that this is an NCAA tournament team that went 30-5 last year and was an NCAA tournament team. It was also a very uneven night offensively, which was something Arkansas coach Eric Musselman said earlier this week that he wanted to avoid.
Arkansas will now begin preparations to take on a Louisville Cardinals team that has struggled mightily this year.
Here's how it all played out in the allHogs.com live blog:
It's game night on the hill as the No. 9 Arkansas Razorbacks take on the South Dakota State Jackrabbits.
Very light crowd at tip-off.
Jordan Walsh misses his first shot, but scraps for the rebound and gets put-back to start game 2-0.
South Dakota State is easily pushing the ball inside and Musselman is already in technical foul mode on the sidelines.
Arkansas is struggling to find a rhythm. Makhi Mitchell misses both free throws and Ricky Council goes crashing to the ground during a spin move on a drive to the basket.
Davonte Davis hits a mid-range jumper to end the drought three minutes into the game. Hogs lead 4-2.
Anthony Black follow it up with a traveling violation and the Jackrabbits will have another chance to take the lead.
Zeke Mayo drills a three and South Dakota St. leads 5-4 with just under 16 minutes left. However, Davis dribbles once and knocks down another mid-range jumper to regain the lead for Arkansas.
This is the 500th game in Bud Walton Arena. That's eight fewer than Nolan Richardson has wins in his career.
Council gets a shot and Trevon Brazile comes in for a powerful dunk to stretch the lead to 10-5. The Jackrabbits respond by ending an 8-minute scoring drought to make it 10-7.
Jalen Graham has apparently made it out of Musselman's dog house. He gets into the game early tonight and almost immediately gets called for a walk.
Matthew Mors hits a turnaround jumper and it's 12-9 with 12 minutes left in the half. Graham manages to hit a quick jumper to make up for the walk, but then gets called for the foul on the other end of the court.
Anthony Black found Council beforehand for the lay-up and it's now 16-9.
South Dakota State is getting several great looks at the basket, but can't get the shots to go down.
Tanner Te Slaa hits a three from the corner while floating out of bounds to make it a three-point game at 16-13. Arians, the Isaiah Joe of this team, misses an open three and Brazile makes him pay on the other end with a three of his own to make it 19-13 as we drift below nine minutes.
Council then hits a three from the corner and the Jackrabbits are facing an unusually large deficit for the South Dakota State team at 22-13.
Ricky Council slips by down the middle of the lane for a powerful dunk. Arians then pushes it up the floor and finds Broden Lien all alone under the basket for a reverse lay-up to cut it back to single digits at 24-15.
Playing back-to-back nights on opposite ends of the country seems to be having a little effect on South Dakota State. This is a team that knows how to get open and usually makes a team pay when it happens, but the shots are falling just short tonight.
Anthony Black loops around the arc, continues down the baseline and hits the reverse lay-up. It almost looked like Black was taking an on-ramp from I-630 onto I-430 with that motion.
We're now under the five minute mark with the score 28-19. In the past few games this is where Arkansas has put together a run, but the lack of flow with this Razorback offense makes it look unlikely to happen.
Davis throws up an air ball, but shows mental toughness and comes back down to bury his first three of the year and it's 31-23.
William Kyle III hits a dunk inside and it's now only a six-point game. Kyle then hits another dunk and it's a 4-point game with 2:28 in the half in front of the deadest Arkansas crowd in many years.
Out of the timeout, Walsh drains a three, Brazile breaks free for a dunk and Council knocks down a shot and in a blur, the Hogs are up 38-27.
Mitchell hits the short jumper on what looked like a charge. He then hits the free throw and the Hogs have now run off 10 consecutive in a shade over a minute.
Mayo gets inside for a lay-up to close the scoring for the half and what was a close game two minutes ago is now a 41-29 lead.
As we head into the half, the most glaring stat is that Arkansas is only shooting 20% from the free throw line.
South Dakota State comes up with much crisper ball movement and Matt Detlinger is able to draw the foul and get the the free throw line to hit 1-of-2.
Walsh hits a nasty turnaround move down low while drawing the foul. However, the cold shooting at the line continues and it's now 43-30 with just over a minute gone in the second half.
Davis strokes a beautiful shot from deep behind the 3-point line and Arkansas is starting to pull away.
Davis passes up his signature mid-range shot to step back for a wide open three, but it rims out. However, Walsh buries a three on the next possession.
Council gets to take a technical foul free throw to make it a 20-point lead as this one is getting out of hand.
Ricky Council with a reverse dunk down the baseline off a ridiculous assist by Davis and the crowd is holding up 10s on paper signs.
It won't take Arkansas men's basketball long to get that one up on the Twitter account.
And here it is.
Mayo gets through a tight defense for a quick pass to hit the reverse lay-up to end an 11-0 run by the Razorbacks to make it 52-32.
Jordan Walsh is hobbling off the court and he is having to be helped to the bench by two members of the staff. He has now been taken back to the locker room.
Considering how bad this looks, it seems surprising it took so long for the refs to stop play and get him off the court.
Arkansas is getting sloppy with a pair of quick fouls on both ends of the floor and South Dakota State has an opportunity to make a move.
Makhel Mitchell gets into the game with just over 13 minutes left.
Luke Appel hits a shot inside while being fouled and completes the 3-point play at the line. Then the forward, who is making his first shot of the game, powers his way to another inside basket to cut the lead to 54-37.
Appel leads the Jackrabbits with nine points. Council, who just hit another shot on an assist by Brazile leads the Razorbacks with 18.
Walsh has now made his way back onto the bench. However, he looks like he is purposefully keeping the leg that was giving him trouble straight when he can.
It is so quiet in Bud Walton that you have been able to easily hear what individual fans are saying and some are taking advantage of that.
Black stops and pops for a three to make it 60-37 and the schedule, plus the Razorbacks' 44% 3-point shooting has made for a rare difficult night for South Dakota State.
Arkansas pressure allows Brazile start a fast break that he hoped would end with him dunking as a trailer, but Davis gets an easy open lay-up and Musselman looks winded on the sideline. The Razorbacks now lead 64-37 with eight minutes remaining.
Mayo goes the distance and hits the scoop lay-up to make it 64-39. Musselman is now really mad as some of the players who haven't had a lot of playing time aren't showing the intensity he wants.
Te Slaa with an easy drive to the basket for another lay-up and a dunk by Kyle and Musselman is losing his mind on the sideline. He is truly livid.
South Dakota State is on a 7-1 run.
However, expect a dramatic change in intensity after this timeout. If not, there may be a few players that we don't see again until around Christmas.
Kyle hits a pair of free throws and it's now a 9-1 run that has cut the lead to 65-45 with 3:30 left.
Brazile gets the rebound off a missed free throw and he now has a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Brazile just hit the most violent posterization of the college basketball season. He nearly kicked the defender in the face on the dunk and then followed Lien with an angry look on his face in a moment of intentional intimidation.
Kamani Johnson then got busted for taunting the Jackrabbits.
Cade Arbogast got a wide open shot from three that cleared the bench as Hogs ran the baseline and nearly took out a ref hoping to celebrate a made bucket, but it wasn't to be as it rimmed out.
South Dakota State finishes the game on a 20-7 run.
Arkansas wins 71-56.
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