Bob Holt is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Missouri, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and a voter for the Heisman Trophy and AP Top 25 basketball poll. Holt has been awarded Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year four times and has been inducted to the Arkansas Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame.
Razorbacks reeling with 4 losses in a row
Arkansas' Kamani Johnson walks off the court after the team's 79-76 loss to Missouri in an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)
The University of Arkansas basketball team is still winless on the road.
Missouri rallied from a 10-point deficit in the second half to beat the No. 25 Razorbacks 79-76 on Wednesday night at Mizzou Arena in Columbia, Mo.
After Missouri took a 79-76 lead on two free throws by Sean East with 2.8 seconds left, Razorbacks freshman guard Anthony Black — guarded by Deandre Gholston — missed a desperation three-point attempt from about 30 feet that fell short of the basket.
“I thought our competitive nature tonight was at a high level,” Razorbacks Coach Eric Musselman said. “We’re just a basketball team that has not figured out how to win down the stretch.”
Senior forward Kobe Brown led Missouri (14-4, 3-3 SEC) with 17 points. Gholston, a senior guard, added 16 points.
Arkansas junior guard Davonte Davis had 18 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists, but also 6 turnovers.
Black had 15 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists along with 5 turnovers.
Junior guard Ricky Council had 13 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 turnovers for the Razorbacks.
Arkansas freshman forward Jordan Walsh had 12 points in 13 minutes off the bench before fouling out with 6:48 left.
The Tigers hit 30 of 40 free throws compared to 23 of 26 by the Razorbacks.
Brown, Sean East and D’Moi Hodge combined to go 8 of 8 in the final 29.6 seconds to help Missouri hold on to win.
Arkansas was called for 33 fouls. Davis and senior forwards Makhi Mitchell and Kamani Johnson joined Walsh in fouling out.
“I just have never coached in a game where four players fouled out,” Musselman said.
Missouri was called for 23 fouls — 10 fewer than Arkansas.
“I give Missouri credit,” Musselman said, declining to comment on the foul differential. “They beat us.”
Turnovers also helped beat the Razorbacks. They had a season-high 21 turnovers — including 14 in the first half — to 12 for Missouri.
The Tigers finished with a 31-13 advantage in points off turnovers.
“We had 11 turnovers at the point guard spot and their team had 12,” Musselman said in reference to Davis and Black on Arkansas’ post-game radio show. “So that’s a big key to the game.”
Mitchell hit two free throws with 1:13 left to give Arkansas a 71-69 lead with 1:13 left. Missouri tied it 71-71 on a basket by Gholston.
Davis then was called for charging with 43.7 seconds remaining and fouled out.
Brown hit two free throws with 29.6 seconds left for a 73-71 Missouri lead.
Jalen Graham — who came into the game when Johnson fouled out — had a turnover and East hit two free throws to extend the Tigers’ lead to 75-71 with 14.4 seconds left.
Black scored on a drive with 8.6 seconds left and Noah Honor hit two free throws for Missouri to make it 77-73 with 7.8 seconds left.
Black’s three-pointer pulled Arkansas within 77-76 with 2.9 seconds left.
“We got up by getting stops,” Black said of the Razorbacks building their lead to 10 points. “On offense, I think we were playing with a lot of confidence.
“It was just [not] getting stops and being smart with the ball. Down the stretch, we fouled a lot. We gave up a couple big threes. Momentum shifters.
“And we turned the ball over. A lot of that is on me. As the point guard and the game manager with a few minutes and we’re up 10, we’re supposed to win the game.
“I take the responsibility for what happened down the stretch.”
Arkansas (12-6, 1-5) dropped to 0-4 on the road. The other road losses were at LSU, Auburn and Vanderbilt.
Arkansas’ only SEC victory was over Missouri 74-68 at Walton Arena on Jan. 4.
The Tigers broke a five-game losing streak against the Razorbacks. Prior to Wednesday night, Missouri’s last victory over Arkansas had been 81-68 in Walton Arena in 2021.
The Tigers’ last victory at home over Arkansas was 83-79 in overtime in 2020.
Arkansas dropped to 33-27 all-time against Missouri, including 14-9 in SEC matchups.
Missouri improved to 11-1 at home. The Tigers’ only loss in Mizzou Arena was to No. 2 Kansas.
Arkansas went ahead 67-57 on two free throws by Council with 5:07 left.
The Tigers went on a 10-0 run and tied it 67-67 with 2:28 left on Gholston’s three-pointer.
Arkansas regained the lead 69-67 on a dunk by Johnson — with an assist from Mitchell with 2:05 left.
East hit two free throws for Missouri with 2:02 left to tie it 69-69.
Missouri opened the second half on a 9–2 run and took a 43-37 lead with 16:38 left on Brown’s dunk after an Arkansas turnover.
The Razorbacks outscored the Tigers 16-4 over a 5:34 span and took a 53-47 lead on Council’s rebound basket with 10:45 left.
With 8:48 left Black was called for fouling Hodge, who was called for a Flagrant 1 foul.
Hodge made two free throws and Council hit both shots for the Razorbacks to give them a 57-51 lead
Davis hit a three-pointer with four seconds left in the first half to give Arkansas 35-34 halftime lead.
The Razorbacks shot 58.8% (10 of 17) in the first half, but they had 14 turnovers to 5 for the Tigers.
Missouri shot 36.7% (11 of 30) in the half and outscored Arkansas 18-2 in points off turnovers.
The Razorbacks jumped out to a 7-0 lead as Council hit a three-pointer, Black scored on a layup with an assist from Council, and Davis made a layup.
Missouri missed its first eight shots before Brown hit a jumper at the 14:59 mark to make it 7-2.
Another Council dunk put the Razorbacks ahead 9-2.
The Tigers responded with a 7-0 run — including Mohamed Diarra’s first three-point basket of the season — and tied it 12-12 with 8:30 left in the half on two free throws by Gholston.
The Tigers took a 34-32 lead with 27 seconds left in the half on a dunk by Hodge after an Arkansas turnover.
Arkansas returns home to play Ole Miss at 11 a.m. Saturday at Walton Arena. The game, televised on ESPN2, will be the first of three consecutive SEC home games for the Razorbacks.
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