Hogs can’t come close to returning from UConn’s first-half run in blowout end
Razorbacks’ run in NCAA Tournament and an up-and-down season crashed in an 88-65 loss to Huskies in Sweet 16.
An up-and-down season for Arkansas ended in Las Vegas on Thursday night with a whopping loss.
UConn’s 88-65 win over the Razorbacks was about as dominating as it got all year, too.
Nothing really worked for the Hogs in this one.
When you sit back and look, that 14-0 run by the Huskies in the first half was a shot in the mouth the Razorbacks never really recovered from.
The persistent jabs the rest of the way prevented them from really getting any kind of hope about a comeback.
The biggest takeaway from this may be how Eric Musselman and his staff got them to the Sweet 16. The main reason they even got in the NCAA Tournament was a strong early schedule against some teams that did well.
The Hogs continued to develop throughout the year let them make a little noise, but it wasn’t going to be enough against a UConn team that may have played its best game of the season.
When a team shoots 57.4% throughout the game on a Hogs’ team that really can’t shoot the ball consistently, it’s a problem. Arkansas needed to have a lights-out game shooting the ball and only hit 31.7%.
Part of that was the Huskies’ defense. I have no idea what the reason was for the Hogs other than they picked a really bad night for one of their worst shooting games of the season.
It doesn’t help when what everybody (including Musselman) was afraid might happen and that’s not being able to slow down the UConn’s experience and strength on the boards.
The final edge for the Huskies was 43-31, but early in the game the Hogs couldn’t get a defensive rebound.
The Huskies also dominated inside, out-scoring the Hogs 42-24. Again, the first-half numbers were much more dominant. By halftime you kind of had the feeling this game was out of hand and it was going to take a comeback for the ages.
Nobody thought that was going to happen because the Hogs couldn’t shoot. Freshman point guard Anthony Black led the scoring with 20 points and nine of those came at the free-throw line.
But, we saw this all year. Up one week, down the next week has been the theme all year.
We’ll have plenty to talk about for a while, guessing who’s coming back and which ones are leaving for the NBA or the transfer portal.
Musselman, though, is going to be looking for shooters.
Getting 31.7% in the Sweet 16 might not have beaten a team of managers by some other teams. That’s over and done now, though.
That’s now in the past.
Now they get to figure out what to do going forward.