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A newbie gave the spark and a switch gave the blow to Ole Miss on Wednesday.
Davonte Davis scored eight factors in two minutes to place Arkansas on high within the first half after which JD Notae scored 14 factors within the second half because it pulled away for a 74-59 victory over the Rebels at Bud Walton Enviornment.
After shedding back-to-back blowouts at LSU and Alabama, the Razorbacks have gained three SEC video games for the primary time underneath head coach Eric Musselman. This victory improves them to 13-4 total and 5-4 in convention video games.
“The way you react whenever you lose two video games turns into actually necessary,” stated Musselman. “We smelled in each of those video games, however we regrouped and we now have managed what we’re imagined to. We’ve got gained video games by enjoying actually onerous by way of 40 minutes. ”
One other rookie, Moses Moody, performed a key function in a fast begin to Arkansas, hitting all three free throws after being mistakenly shot a three-pointer after which making a wonderful go to Connor Vanover for a dunk.
The ultimate whistle was blown, ending the sport at 0 – 1. Assured of their lead, Ole Miss’s gamers relaxed and centered extra on defending the lead than rising it. The Razorbacks fought early in opposition to the zone, with Moody committing a few turnovers that led to easy fast breaks in a 7-0 run that gave the Rebels 4 factors.
It was a troublesome night time for Arkansas’ main scorer, as Moody didn’t make a shot till the ultimate two minutes and matched a profession low with simply 5 factors – the smallest among the many seven Razorbacks who scored on Wednesday.
“Generally guys solely have one night time and tonight I assumed … (Luis) Rodriguez did job of attempting to disclaim him,” Musselman stated. “When Moses is denied a bit, what it does is it opens issues up for different gamers, so different guys received shot makes an attempt as a result of it appeared like they actually didn’t go away Moses in any respect.”
Positive sufficient, back-to-back three-pointers by Desi Sills and Notae tied it up once more and that was when Davis put his stamp on the sport.
With the rating 13-13, the newbie got here with a steal and took it from coast to coast for a troublesome setup by way of contact. Davis missed the free throw from a media timeout, however took his personal rebound and received a fast jumper.
It was the beginning of an 11-2 run by the Razorbacks that included two extra buckets by Davis – one in all which was one other fast break after a steal.
“I bear in mind we have been right down to 4 when he got here in, had some good stops, good layups, some nice pictures, and he actually turned the entire second within the sport proper there,” Vanover stated. “It simply took off from there, so he performed an enormous function, particularly through the first half.”
Ole Miss used a unique timeout, but it surely didn’t have the identical impact this time. The Rebels lowered the deficit to 5 earlier than Jaylin Williams pulled a cost and Arkansas turned it into factors with a Jalen Tate three-pointer.
The Razorbacks stretched their result in double figures in a Sills quick break that he began himself by hitting the ball free and arising with it.
It will definitely got here to a 12-point margin, with Arkansas taking 37-25 at halftime. The Rebels missed all 9 of their three-point makes an attempt within the first half and dedicated six turnovers that led to 13 factors for the Razorbacks.
After an early Vanover dunk, Davontae warmed up Shuler with back-to-back jumpers to get Ole Miss inside 10. The Rebels had an opportunity to get it to single digits, however Tate got here up with a steal and threw it ahead for a dunk of Sills.
Arkansas dropped it with a 12-2 run that included Notae who scored the final seven factors of the stretch to make it a 20-point sport.
It was not till Matthew Murrell made a midway by way of the second half that Ole Miss hit a shot past the arc, because it missed his first 14 three-point makes an attempt and completed simply 1 of 16 from deep.
“I assumed defensively that we understood who their three-point shooters have been,” Musselman stated. “We ran them from the three-point line we did final 12 months. I assumed it was the primary time defensively that we seemed like final 12 months’s group from the perimeter. ”
However Tate responded instantly with a strive of his personal and the Rebels got here nearer than 15 factors simply as soon as within the final 12 minutes.
“For our group to have the ability to win matches, we now have to attempt to make it a sport within the excessive 50s, low 60s,” says Ole Miss coach Kermit Davis. “It is simply powerful for us offensively proper now, so we now have to be good in different areas … We wanted to hold our hats defensively tonight and 74 (factors) was manner too many for us proper now.”
After scoring simply 12 factors and solely scoring 2 of 9 pictures over the arc within the earlier three matches, Notae completed with 19 factors and was 3 of 6 from three-point intervals. He additionally did job of attending to the free throw line, the place he made 8 of 9 makes an attempt.
Musselman praised the Jacksonville switch for his shot choice and hitting his man from the dribble, which was aided by some schematic issues Arkansas did within the second half.
“We put the ball in his fingers and ran some mid-and-rolls with Conner setting it up and Conner rolled as an alternative of popping, as a result of we felt Connor’s top might be a bit extra of a dynamic roll tonight,” Musselman stated. “And when Connor rolled like that, I assumed it opened up some one-on-one conditions for JD.”
Davis was Razorback’s second main scorer and added six factors within the second half to present him 14. It was solely the fourth time in his younger profession that he reached double figures and together with his 7-of-9 efficiency on Wednesday, he’s capturing a powerful 65 p.c ( 26 of 40) from the ground.
For the third straight sport, and in simply his fourth look since a fast comeback from ankle surgical procedure, Justin Smith was additionally in double figures for Arkansas. He scored 10 factors and added six rebounds.
Maybe essentially the most spectacular state line, nonetheless, belonged to Vanover. The 7-foot-3 huge man completed with 8 factors, a team-high 7 rebounds and 5 blocks. Solely 4 different Razorbacks have reached the three marks in a sport within the final decade – Daniel Gafford (4 occasions), Moses Kingsley (5 occasions), Bobby Portis (as soon as) and Delvon Johnson (4 occasions).
These have been essentially the most blocked pictures he is had since taking six in opposition to North Texas within the second sport of the season and that doesn’t embrace the opposite pictures that Vanover modified with out blocking. He additionally helped the crime even when he didn’t rating.
“Connor was so necessary in opposition to 1-3-1 as a result of we simply threw the ball excessive to him within the nook,” Musselman stated. “When you get the ball within the nook in opposition to a 1-3-1, it flattens out the protection, so Conner was implausible. The statistics sheet doesn’t do him justice as a result of I assumed his influence on the sport was unimaginable. ”
The Razorbacks will exit of convention play for the final time this season Saturday afternoon as they journey to Stillwater, Okla., To face Oklahoma State within the Huge 12 / SEC Problem.
Ideas are scheduled for 3pm CT and the sport will air on ESPN2.
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