Matt Jones is the online sports director for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A double graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and voter for the Heisman Trophy.
Hogs blow late lead at Missouri, drop 4th consecutive game
Arkansas' Anthony Black, left, dribbles past Missouri's Kobe Brown, right, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)
Arkansas’ road woes continued Wednesday as the 25th-ranked Razorbacks blew a late 10-point lead and lost 79-76 at Missouri.
The Tigers made all eight of their free-throw attempts in the final 30 seconds. Kobe Brown made the first two of those free throws with 29.3 seconds remaining to give the Tigers the lead for good at 73-71.
Missouri (14-4, 3-3 SEC) got revenge for a 74-68 loss at Arkansas on Jan. 4 when the Razorbacks rallied from a 17-point deficit.
Arkansas (12-6, 1-5) has not won since that game, with losses at Auburn, Vanderbilt and Missouri, and at home to Alabama. The Razorbacks lost their fifth consecutive road game dating to last year and fell to 0-4 on the road this season.
Arkansas has lost back-to-back road games when leading by double digits. The Razorbacks also blew a 10-point lead in the second half of a 97-84 loss at Vanderbilt last weekend.
Arkansas led Missouri 65-55 when Davonte Davis hit a three-pointer with 5:17 remaining. The Tigers answered with a 10-0 run and tied the game on Deandre Gholston’s three-pointer with 2:28 to play.
The Razorbacks took leads on a dunk by Kamani Johnson with 2:05 remaining and a pair of second-chance free throws by Makhi Mitchell with 1:13 to play. Both players, along with Davis, fouled out in the game’s final 61 seconds.
With Arkansas trailing 73-71, Jalen Graham committed a turnover with under 20 seconds to play as he tried to make a move to the basket. Sean East followed with two free throws to give Missouri a four-point lead with 14 seconds remaining.
The Tigers final free four throws answered five points by Arkansas freshman forward Anthony Black, who cut the lead to 77-76 on a three with 2.9 seconds to play. Black’s final heave from near half court was no good, preserving Mizzou’s first win in the series since January 2021.
Arkansas had won five straight over the Tigers, including two consecutive games at Mizzou Arena.
Davis led the Razorbacks with 18 points and tied Mitchell for the team lead with nine rebounds. Black contributed 15 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists, Ricky Council scored 13 points and Jordan Walsh added 12 before fouling out.
Brown and Gholston led Missouri with 17 and 16 points, respectively. The Tigers made 30 of 40 free throws on a night when the Razorbacks were whistled for 33 personal fouls — 10 more than Missouri.
Arkansas made 23 of 26 free-throw attempts. The Razorbacks shot 23 of 50 from the floor and 7 of 17 from three-point range.
Missouri forced 21 turnovers and converted them into 31 points to help offset a 42-23 Arkansas advantage in rebounds. The Razorbacks had 13 offensive rebounds, but only scored eight second-chance points.
The game was tied 11 times and had 17 lead changes. Arkansas led 35-34 at halftime when Davis drilled a three in the closing seconds of the first half.
The Razorbacks are scheduled to play again Saturday at home against Ole Miss with tipoff scheduled for 11 a.m.
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