FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas coach obviously got one problem fixed.
After struggling to stop other team's leading scorer in games and a concern from the summer about defending three-point shots, the Razorbacks showed it's been an teaching point in practice.
The Hogs held South Dakota State to 32% from the field and came away with a 71-56 win Wednesday night at Bud Walton Arena.
"We did a really, really good job defending across the board," he said after the game. "They weren’t allowed to get many attempts up because we stayed attached."
It was something Musselman talked about a lot through the summer workouts and some of the early games.
"We knew coming in they could shoot the ball pretty well," Davonte Davis said later. "They also had dribble-drivers and a few bigs that could post up and draw a lot of fouls. Defense was the big emphasis on this game and we did pretty well."
They held the Jackrabbits' leading scorer, Matt Denglinger, without a field goal.
"What were we going to do with a leading scorer?" Musselman said in something he pointed out after last week's win over North Dakota State. "We held him without a field goal."
Even more glaring was holding SDSU's shooters to just 2-of-7 on three-pointers.
"We did a really, really good job defending across the board," Musselman said.
The Hogs did it by taking control early.
"The start of the first half and the end of the first half was phenomenal," Musselman said.
That middle part wasn't looking too bad until SDSU freshman William Kyle dunked on back-to-back possessions cutting the Hogs' lead to 31-27. Musselman took a rare first half online.
The players know when that happens what's coming.
"Coach chewed us out a little bit about playing defense harder," Davis said. "You see we made that run and everything else took care of itself and usually provides a result."
The Hogs came out of the timeout for a 10-0 run widening the lead.
It was never close in the second half.
"More energy on the defensive end," Davis said later. "That’s what we are basically based on as a team. If we get stops, we can make runs.
Since defense travels pretty well, it's probably already packed for the Maui trip.
• Want to join in on the discussion? Click here to become a member of the allHOGS message board community today!
• View and subscribe to the allHogs YouTube Channel