Hogs left to mull what-ifs from loss

By: Bob Holt
Published: Monday, December 10, 2018
Adrio Bailey of Arkansas reacts after missing a shot on the final play of the game that would have given Arkansas the win vs Western Kentucky Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018, at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville. The final score was Western Kentucky 78, Arkansas 77.
Photo by Ben Goff
Adrio Bailey of Arkansas reacts after missing a shot on the final play of the game that would have given Arkansas the win vs Western Kentucky Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018, at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville. The final score was Western Kentucky 78, Arkansas 77.

FAYETTEVILLE -- The University of Arkansas basketball team will have to wait a week to play its next game after Western Kentucky beat the Razorbacks 78-77 on Saturday in Walton Arena.

Because of final exams, Arkansas (6-2) doesn't play again until Saturday night against Texas-San Antonio (3-6) at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock.

"Well, they have to stew over it," Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson said. "I think they are. They have to figure out what are the things we're not doing that put us in that position? Very much so like the Texas game."

The Razorbacks had won six consecutive games since losing to Texas 73-71 in overtime to open the season.

Anderson said the Razorbacks need to reflect on their effort defensively after the Hilltoppers shot 50 percent from the field (29 of 58) and hit 9 of 22 three-pointers.

Arkansas, which had been holding opponents to 36.3 percent shooting from the field, shot 43.5 percent (30 of 69) against Western Kentucky.

"What happens when you don't make shots?" Anderson said. "I always want to see that. Can you get to the basket? Can you manufacture shots? Can you get to the free throw line?

"There were periods we did that, but can we do it consistently over a 40-minute game?"

Anderson said Western Kentucky also deserved credit defensively for creating problems for the Razorbacks.

The Hilltoppers' zone defense was especially effective at slowing down Arkansas and helping control much of the game's tempo.

"They answered the call," Anderson said.

Up next

Arkansas men vs. Texas-San Antonio

WHEN 7 p.m. Saturday

WHERE Verizon Arena, North Little Rock

RECORDS Arkansas 6-2; UTSA 3-6

SERIES Arkansas leads 5-0

TELEVISION None

RADIO Razorback Sports Network

Western Kentucky Coach Rick Stansbury became the fourth coach to win in Walton with two different programs along with Dave Odom (Wake Forest and South Carolina), John Calipari (Memphis and Kentucky) and Bruce Pearl (Tennessee and Auburn).

Stansbury is 5-10 as a visiting coach at Arkansas, including a 4-10 record when he was at Mississippi State.

"I haven't even thought about it," Stansbury said. "The only program I'm thinking about right now is Western Kentucky.

"We've had many wars here over the years. I've always said this was one of the most difficult places to play in the SEC."

Stansbury said the Razorbacks -- with nine newcomers and one returning starter in sophomore forward Daniel Gafford -- have been better than expected.

"I'll tell you, Mike's got the most surprising team in the Southeastern Conference this year," Stansbury said. "For them to come into this game being whatever they were after losing all those players they lost last year, they're much better than anybody ever anticipated them being. That's just the truth."

The Razorbacks came into the Western Kentucky game after winning 98-74 at Colorado State on Wednesday night.

"I just thought we were a little sluggish," Anderson said. "I don't know if it was a Colorado State hangover coming from there where we shot the ball well and played well, and then it's a quick turnaround.

"Teams are going come at us whether we home or on the road. They're going to come and leave it on the floor.

"Your want-to has got to be much, much better than theirs and I thought they wanted it a bit more than we did."

Senior forward Adrio Bailey said the Razorbacks will use this week without a game to improve in practice.

"We're not going to sit here and hang our heads on this L," Bailey said. "Don't get me wrong, it's bad losing at home.

"But our fans, we love us at and we love them and we know we're going to bounce back. We're going to come back even better."

Sports on 12/10/2018

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