Game sketch: Arkansas 80, No. 7 Duke 75

Arkansas guard El Ellis (3) shoots a layup by Duke guard Caleb Foster (1), Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023, during the first half of the Razorbacks’ game against the Blue Devils at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville.

Why Arkansas Won

The Razorbacks’ guards were hard to guard, and Trevon Brazile turned in his most impactful performance of the season with 19 points and 11 rebounds. After taking a 33-32 lead into halftime, Arkansas shot 60.9% in the second half and reeled off a 16-4 run to push its lead to 60-47 with 9:31 to play. The Razorbacks also got a big front-court effort from forward Chandler Lawson, who finished with 7 points, 8 rebounds and 6 blocks. El Ellis pitched in 9 points and 6 assists with 0 turnovers. Arkansas shared the ball well, totaling 17 assists on 26 made field goals.

Why Duke Lost

Blue Devils star forward Kyle Filipowski finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds, but, seriously, his impact was limited in large part because of Lawson, the Memphis transfer with a 7-7 wingspan. Duke shot 35.8% as a team and finished 17 of 35 on layups, according to StatBroadcast. 

Player of the Game

Khalif Battle scored 21 points on 5 of 13 from the field, including 3 of 8 from three-point range. It is the fourth time this season Battle has made 3 threes in a game and fourth time he has scored 20-plus points. Battle also had 5 rebounds and 5 assists, which created 14 points for the Razorbacks.

Stat of the Game

Brazile, who entered Wednesday’s game 8 of 20 from three-point range for the season, knocked down 4 three-pointers on 7 attempts. The four made threes are a career high. Brazile was 3 of 9 beyond the arc in 3 games at Battle 4 Atlantis.

BWA Record

A Bud Walton Arena record crowd of 20,344 were on hand for Arkansas' win over Duke.

100 For Muss

Arkansas’ win Wednesday gives fifth-year head coach Eric Musselman 100 in his time with the Razorbacks.

Musselman has a record of 100-45. The 100 wins are the sixth most for any Arkansas basketball coach.

Mark Out, Graham Returns

Razorbacks guard Tramon Mark did not play against Duke because of a back injury he suffered in the final two minutes of the team’s loss to North Carolina last Friday at Battle 4 Atlantis.

Arkansas did, though, get forward Jalen Graham back in the fold. He had missed the previous four games with back spasms, according to Musselman. Graham was 0 of 1 from the field in 2 minutes.

Block Party

Through seven games, Arkansas ranked seventh in the country at 6.3 blocks per game. The Razorbacks raised that number Wednesday.

They finished with 10 rejections, giving them two games this season with at least 10. Arkansas had 15 in its win over Gardner-Webb in Game 2.

Lawson led the team with 6, Brazile had 2 and El Ellis and Jeremiah Davenport had 1.