Matt Jones has been the online sports editor for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette since 2010. He is also a feature writer for Hawgs Illustrated magazine and is currently pursuing a Masters degree in journalism.
Anderson looking for consistency
Arkansas coach Mike Anderson shows frustration during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Mississipppi, Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, in Oxford, Miss. Mississippi won 76-64. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
FAYETTEVILLE After another road loss over the weekend, Arkansas coach Mike Anderson is hoping his team can put everything together when it returns to its home court Wednesday against Mississippi State.
The Razorbacks lost 76-64 at Ole Miss on Saturday in a game that was tied late in the second half. Arkansas committed 19 turnovers after only committing eight in a double-overtime win over Auburn earlier in the week.
Arkansas (11-6, 2-2 SEC) vs. Mississippi State (7-9, 2-2)
WHERE: Bud Walton Arena
WHEN: 8:05 p.m.
Cleaning up those mistakes could be the difference in winning like-games in the future.
"I want to win the possession game," Anderson said. "In the Auburn game, we got into a rebounding war... In the Ole Miss game, we fixed the rebounding part of it, but we didn't take care of the basketball.
"That's part of the progression of this team. I thought we addressed (rebounding) and our guys did a good job, but you have to continue to be consistent."
Arkansas (11-6, 2-2 Southeastern Conference) was out-rebounded by 24 in a conference-opening loss to Texas A&M two weeks ago. Since, the Razorbacks have nearly broken even on the boards, out-rebounding Vanderbilt and being out-rebounded by Auburn by three.
Ole Miss featured the league's top two rebounders, Murphy Holloway and Reginald Buckner, but only out-rebounded the undersized Razorbacks 46-42.
"Like coach has been saying all year, it's about effort and attitude," said forward Marshawn Powell, who had a team-high 16 points in the loss to the Rebels. "That's what we were doing every play. We were trying to go get it."
Though the final result left the Razorbacks winless away from the state of Arkansas this season, Anderson said he was happy with the effort shown by his team in the loss to Ole Miss, which is undefeated in SEC play. The Razorbacks overcame a 13-point second half deficit to tie the game at one point with less than 10 minutes remaining before the Rebels pulled away.
Mississippi State enters this week's matchup at Bud Walton Arena with a 7-9 record overall and 2-2 record in league play. The Bulldogs have lost two straight to Tennessee and Alabama by a combined 47 points.
"It's not about Mississippi State, it's about us," Anderson said. "We've set our eyes on improving in certain areas and we want to take care of the ball.
"We're trending the right way, but as you trend and go in a certain direction, you want to win. Coming off the Ole Miss disappointment, we want to win."