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Arkansas Delivers Knockout Blow Late for 93-78 Win

Walker's Little Rock team keep Hog fans on edge until final minutes
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FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas found itself in a fight against a depleted UALR team, but managed to pull away late for a 93-78 win.

The Trojans came into the game with only six scholarship players available. Among the missing were leading scorer Nicola Maric’s 13 points per game and DeAntonio Gordon’s 10.8 points per game. Despite this, UALR kept the game within single digits until Notae ran off 10 points in a five-minute span to finally open things up in the final span.

Devo Davis and Au’Diese Toney carried the weight in the first half. Toney scored 16 of his 18 points in the first half, while Davis had all seven of his assists in the half on his way to an 16-point night.

With the win, Arkansas is officially 8-0 in all three seasons under Eric Musselman.

KEY PLAYER WATCH

• Kamani Johnson, who is facing his former team for the first time, did not play.

• Toney caught fire in the first half, leading all scorers with 16 points. He finished 6-of-7 from the field and tied for the team lead at 18 points.

• Jaylin Williams was perfect in the first half. He ended the game 4-of-5 for 9 points and 7 rebounds.

• Davis was on watch for a double-double after he finished. He finished the first half with 7 assists and 6 points. He closed the game with 16 points, 7 assists, 4 rebounds and a steal.

• UALR’s leading scorer, Marko Lukic, kept Hog defenders on their toes all night as he hit 23 points. He would have had 26, but an ill-timed timeout negated a 3-pointer that would have made it a 4-point game late..

HIGHLIGHTS

• Toney drove the baseline against four defenders and slipped a pass to a cutting Devo Davis to put Arkansas up 8-5.

• Davis executed left-handed a no-look pass to Jaylin Williams

• Jaxon Robinson hit a running three from the corner to give Arkansas a little breathing room at 17-12, but a pair of free throws by Isaiah Palermo kept the Trojans within a bucket midway through the half.

• Arkansas seemed poised to finally put a team away in the first half after a lay-up by Toney stretched the lead to 8, but a dunk by UALR’s Marko Andric (pronounced Ahn-Dreech) cut the Razorback lead to 28-24, forcing Musselman to call a timeout to kill the momentum.

• Davis goes coast-to-coast, splitting defenders for a high-flying reverse lay-up. He then followed with an assist to Trey Wade’s for a dunk that capped a 6-0 run in less than a minute coming out of the timeout. This stretched the lead to double-digits for the first time at 34-24 at the 6:36 mark.

• UALR cut it back to single digits, but Jaylin Williams hit back-to-back lay-ups on assists from Davis to finally open the game up.

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• A 3-pointer from Lykes sends Arkansas into the half with a 49-34 lead.

• Davis and Lykes scored buckets to try to hold off UALR’s comeback, but Lukic’s three to put him at 21 points kept things in single digits with 13 minutes remaining. Had Walker not called a timeout to negate the basket, Lukic would have hit back-to-back threes to make it a 64-60.

• Lukic’s lay-up with seven minutes left cut the lead to 74-67

• Notae stepped into the lane for a steal and went coast-to-coast for the lay-up to score 10 points in a five-minute span to put Arkansas up 82-68 with 5:20 to go.

STAT TRACKER

• Davis is starting to hit his stride. He either scored or had an assist on five of Arkansas’s first seven made baskets.

• Arkansas is now 40-2 when leading at the half.

SEEN & HEARD

• The word “spurtability” just won’t go away. It’s as if announcers are part of a drinking game conspiracy.

• Arkansas coach Sam PIttman came in with several recruits to watch the game. Potential Oklahoma Sooner transfer Jadon Haselwood was perched next to the head Hog. Unfortunately, what wasn’t seen was a large crowd in for the game when they entered.

RANDOM NOTES OF THE NIGHT

• This is the first time Arkansas has been in the Top 10 since Nolan Richardson’s 1995 team that lost to UCLA in the national championship game.

• There might be more people at the Fayetteville vs. Bryant state championship game in Little Rock today than watching Arkansas vs. UALR. The game is going head-to-head with the Georgia vs. Alabama SEC championship game and the AAC championship game between Cincinatti and Houston. Both games will directly impact who gets into the college football playoffs.

• UALR only dressed six scholarship players for today’s game.
UALR head coach Darrell Walker was an All-SWC and All-American player in the early ‘80s for the Razorbacks.

• 30 seconds into the game, Eric Musselman sent his first sub to the table to check in.
Once Arkansas found itself in a 50-45 shootout against Arkansas Tech in 1950, the Razorbacks stopped playing in-state opponents in any major sport. Under athletics director Hunter Yuracheck, that policy has changed, allowing the basketball team to play its second in-state opponent in a week.

• UALR has played six teams in five states in four time zones over the past few weeks.
“Another example of what Williams does. He could have taken it himself easily, but he gives it up to Toney.” – Announcers after Williams dished to Toney for a dunk following a turnover that led to a fast break early in the 2nd half.

• “Isaiah Polermo has been animated this second half. He actually got a warning to quit talking to the Arkansas bench. I actually think it spices it up.” Announcers following a three by Polermo that helped the Trojans make a run to cut it to 57-52 in the first five minutes of the second half.

FINAL BOX SCORE

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