Hogs try to come back, but fall short at Alabama, 86-83
Razorbacks blow double-digit lead in the first half with slow start in second half and can’t get back.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Arkansas was down 12 with 3:08 to play before making a feverish comeback attempt that ended with a game-tying 3-point attempt missing at the buzzer as No. 2 Alabama escaped with an 86-83 victory Saturday afternoon at Coleman Coliseum.
Arkansas led by nine, 37-28, at the break but Alabama started the second on a 19-9 run to take its first lead since the first half (47-46) to force a Razorback timeout. The run was extended to 28-9 for a 56-46 Alabama lead. Davonte Davis ended the draught at 10:26.
From that point, the teams played evenly with Alabama leading by nine (64-55) with seven minutes left. Neither team scored for the next minute and Alabama pushed its lead to 12. Davis answered with a 3-pointer and Anthony Black followed with a layup.
However, Alabama’s Brandon Miller drained a 3-pointer with 3:08 left to give Bama a 12-point cushion once again.
Arkansas scored on three straight possessions, capped by a Nick Smith Jr., 3-pointer, to make it a 5-point game (75-70) with 1:45 remaining. Arkansas was down six with 22 ticks left before Ricky Council IV converted an old-fashion 3-point play. Alabama’s Nick Sears, who was 9-of-10 at the line, made two free throws only the see Smith answer with a 3-pointer to make it a two-point game with 10 seconds left.
Alabama’s Rylan Griffen made 1-of-2 free throws with seven seconds left to give the Crimson Tide a three-point lead (86-83) with seven seconds left. Arkansas got a good look for the potential game-tying 3-pointer but it didn’t go down to give the Tide the win.
Alabama made 25-of-30 free throws, including 18-of-21 in the second half, while Arkansas was 20-of-39 at the line, including 12-of-20 in the second half.
Arkansas had three players score 20-plus points in the loss as Smith scored 24, Davis had 21 and Council had 20.
Miller led Alabama with 24 points. Jahvon Quinerly had 16 and Sears added 13. Noah Clowney pulled down 13 rebounds and Charles Bediako had 10 boards.
Arkansas stays on the road to play its final road game of the season, facing the nationally-ranked Tennessee Volunteers. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPN2.
FIRST HALF: Arkansas 37, Alabama: 28
• Arkansas scored first and led for 16:05.
• The last time Alabama led was 19-17 with 8:27 left. Arkansas then went on a 16-4 run to lead by 10 with 2:02 left.
• Arkansas led by as many as 11 twice, including 35-24 with 1:42 left.
• There were only six combined assists in the half, two by Arkansas, as each team shot just 33%.
• Anthony Black only played the first four minutes of the first half before picking up two fouls.
• Nick Smith Jr., led Arkansas with 10 points. Devo Davis and Ricky Council IV added eight each.
• Brandon Miller led Alabama with seven points.
• Arkansas’ starting lineup was Anthony Black – Nick Smith Jr. – Davonte Davis – Jordan Walsh – Makhi Mitchell for the third time.
• Alabama won the tip.
• Nick Smith Jr., scored the first points, a jumper at 19:01.
• Ricky Council IV was the first Razorback sub.
• This was the first time an unranked Arkansas team lead a team in the AP top 3 at halftime. Arkansas was looking for its first-ever win versus the AP #2 team in a true road game, falling to 0-6 in such games.
• This was the first time since South Carolina (Mar. 2020) that three Razorbacks scored 20-plus in the same game. Versus South Carolina in 2020, Moses Moody scored 28, Justin Smith 22 and JD Notae 21.
• Ricky Council IV is now just 29 points for 1,000 in his collegiate career.
• Arkansas had its streak of 12 straight games shooting at least 44% from the field snapped. Arkansas shot 41.4% versus Alabama.
• Alabama shot 55.9% in the second half and 45.3% for the game.
• Arkansas had 12 steals, tying for the most by an Alabama opponent this year, and forced 17 Alabama turnovers, the second-most by the Crimson Tide in an SEC game this year.
Information from Arkansas Communications is included in this story.