Arkansas and Western Kentucky played an outstanding game on Saturday night in Bowling Green. The atmosphere was great for the back and forth affair. The first half belonged to WKU as they took a 5-point lead into halftime. Arkansas came out strong in the 2nd half to regain the lead. Towards the end of the 2nd half, Western Kentucky star Charles Bassey went down with a knee injury. He would not return to the court and his status in unknown at this time. Desi Sills, Isaiah Joe, and Jimmy Whitt Jr. led the Hogs with 55 combined points. Reggie Chaney and Adrio Bailey both did a lot of good things to keep Charles Bassey in check. WKU was led by Taveion Hollingsworth. He was outstanding! 23 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists. Arkansas struggled to stay in front of him all game.
What Went Right
Like I stated in my preview article, the game plan was clearly to keep the ball out of Charles Bassey’s hands. Arkansas succeeded holding him to just 6 shot attempts before his injury. It is clear Arkansas was not going to let itself lose because of Charles Bassey.
Struggling Shooters Cash In
Isaiah Joe and Desi Sills combined to make 8 three pointers. Joe was 5-14 and Sills was 3-5 from downtown. While that isn’t a great percentage for Joe, it was good see some go through the basket. Sills needed that even more.
What Went Wrong
Overtime was a big dud. Arkansas couldn’t put the ball in the basket and gave WKU some easy points in transition.
The Hogs committed too many turnovers again. 16 in total. Several of them were unforced mistakes. Arkansas forcing turnovers on defense can make up for losing rebounding battles, but it doesn’t mean much when you turn the ball over yourself. Musselman said postgame, “I thought we were not tough enough with the ball…”
With the lead in the final 90 seconds of regulation, Arkansas committed some costly fouls that put Western Kentucky on the Free Throw line to keep them in the game.
The Hogs have a week off before hosting Tulsa at 12:30pm on Dec. 14. Coach Eric Musselman said the team will partake in another “training camp” during this stretch of 3 games in 22 days.
Around the SEC (December 4-7)
The Tide have a 2 game winning streak after beating Stephen F. Austin by 10.
Auburn needed overtime to get past a good Furman team at home.
Florida took a loss to a very good Butler team on the road in Hinkle Fieldhouse.
The Bulldogs destroyed North Carolina Central, 95-59.
Kentucky is rolling after a blowout win over Farleigh Dickinson.
The Tigers bounce back after their loss to Charleston Southern by going to Philadelphia and beating Temple by 10.
Mississippi State (6-2)
MSU took an L at home to Louisiana Tech, 74-67.
Ole Miss (6-3)
Ole Miss picks up a 16 point win over Cal State-Bakersfield.
South Carolina (6-3)
Frank Martin’s squad went on the road to beat UMASS, 84-80.
Tennessee continues to impress with a blowout win over Florida A&M, 72-43.
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!