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Hogs – 82,  Tide – 78

Mason Jones completes a layup during Arkansas’ 82-78 win at Alabama (Photo: ArkansasRazorbacks.com)

Tonight’s game started about as bad as Arkansas could imagine. Alabama was up 12-0 and Arkansas Head Coach Eric Musselman was forced to use a timeout. Many Hog fans have questioned Musselman’s use of timeouts. I’m imagine those fans were happy when Musselman had to use 2 timeouts in the first 6 minutes of the game. Arkansas responded how they have responded all season. They just won’t go away. Arkansas forced live ball turnovers that resulted in easy buckets. Alabama had just a 3-point lead at halftime. Alabama started the 2nd half by extending the lead to 9, but Arkansas came storming back again. The Hogs got stops, rebounded well enough, and made their free throws to close out the win.

What Went Right

Mason Jones and Jimmy Whitt
The duo combined for 56 points tonight, 9 rebounds, and 6 steals. Mason Jones continues to make a case for SEC Player of the Year. 

Reggie Chaney
Chaney played maybe his best game as a Razorback. Statistically, he has had better games, but what he did tonight Arkansas needed desperately. 8 points, 11 rebounds, and 4-5 from the free throw line.

Half-Court Defense
It’s no secret that Alabama wants to get out and run. The Tide rank 3rd in the country in pace. When Arkansas forced them to run their offense in the half-court, the Hogs forced a lot of turnovers. Arkansas forced 17 turnovers total tonight.

Jalen Harris
Jalen Harris played a great game for the Hogs tonight. 11 points off the bench and made some clutch free throws.

What Went Wrong 

Free Throws
The Hogs shot 20-29 from the free throw line tonight. Mason Jones was 6-13. 

Sluggish Start Again
Arkansas started the game down 12-0. The Hogs cannot afford to continue to start games this way.

Isaiah Joe
Joe is clearly not 100% right now. For the first time in his career, Joe was unable to score in the game. I wouldn’t be surprised if Joe sat out a few games.

What Now 

Arkansas heads back home for a game against Auburn on Tuesday night. Bud Walton Arena should be rocking as the Top 25 ranked Tigers come to town.

Around the SEC (February 1)

Ole Miss 63 @ LSU 73
LSU led by 20 at half and cruised in the 2nd half to remain undefeated in SEC play.

Texas A&M 48 @ Georgia 63
Georgia desperately needed a win on Saturday and they got it. Future top 5 NBA draft pick, Anthony Edwards, scored 29 points and had 15 rebounds.

Tennessee 73 @ Mississippi State 86
Mississippi State just keeps on winning. Watch out for those Bulldogs!

Missouri 54 @ South Carolina 76
South Carolina wins to move to 5-3 in SEC play. The Gamecocks played outstanding defense in the win.

Kentucky 66 @ Auburn 75
Auburn shot 44 free throws to beat Kentucky at home. 

Florida 61 @ Vanderbilt 55
Vanderbilt gave Florida a challenge, but it wasn’t enough as Vanderbilt’s long SEC losing streak continues.

SEC Standings through February 1 

Ben Brandon
Like many in our state, I didn't have a choice in who my favorite team would be growing up. I was raised on Razorback. I remember watching the early season games on ARSN or conference games on JP Sports. My first favorite players were Brandon Dean and Joe Johnson. Great memories. I never thought years ago I would be writing about Arkansas Basketball. I don't have a journalism background or anything like that. When given the opportunity, I wanted to challenge myself with something new and it has been a blast!