Seeking redemption after a 44-point blowout in Fayetteville the last time they met Arkansas, Missouri welcomed the Razorbacks to Mizzou Arena on Tuesday night.
When the Tigers drew up a lob from Boogie Coleman to Trevon Brazile on their first offensive play, it seemed like that Tigers came ready to play, but that was almost all of the magic the Tigers had in store for tonight.
An early 15-0 run that gave the Hogs a 19-4 lead right before the under-12 timeout, and the Razorbacks were merely in cruise control from there on out. Missouri struggled to produce much offense, and turned the ball over 11 times while Arkansas’ three point onslaught was unrelenting.
“That can’t happen because you give guys momentum,” Missouri Head Coach Cuonzo Martin said regarding his team’s turnovers. “They’re able to make plays, and now you’re fighting to get back in it.”
The Razorbacks shot 11-21 from three, including an impressive 7-14 showing in the first half, making it nearly impossible for the Tigers to fight their way back in it, and Stanley Umude led the way for the Hogs. With 6 threes of his own for his team-high 23 points, Umude was the star of the night. However, it wasn’t just him piling on the points for Arkansas, as five different players finished with double digits.
“They made skip passes, normal passes, whatever pass they wanted they got it, and they knocked down shots,” Javon Pickett said.
“I was certainly unhappy with the defense, but you have to give them credit for making the shots,” Martin added.
For the shorthanded Tigers, who were missing Anton Brookshire, Yaya Keita and Jordan Wilmore due to injuries, Javon Pickett was the standout. The senior from Belleville finished with 13 points, all coming in the first half. DaJuan Gordon added 11 points of his own, and Trevon Brazile had a nice game with 8 points and 8 rebounds.
At halftime, the Razorbacks led 46-27, and the game appeared to be a foregone conclusion, but the Tigers managed a spirited comeback while the Razorbacks were on a near six minute field goal drought. In that time, a 9-0 Missouri run narrowed the Arkansas lead from 20 to 11, and the Mizzou Arena crowd responded.
Just when it looked like the Tigers were finally making the Razorbacks uncomfortable, JD Notae responded with a contested three over Ronnie DeGray III, and Umude added another on the next possession to push the Arkansas lead back to 17. Mizzou Arena was once again silent. From that point on, the game was merely a formality.
When the final buzzer sounded, Arkansas polished off a convincing 76-57 victory. In the two meetings between the Tigers and the Razorbacks this year, the Hogs have outscored Missouri by 63 points.
When asked if there was anything specific that gives his team problems with the Razorbacks, Martin kept it simple, “I don’t think it’s anything magical. We just didn’t play well at all.”
Now the Tigers will direct their attention to Mississippi State who they will play twice in the span of three days this weekend due rescheduling.