FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Trevon Brazile had 19 points and 11 rebounds, Khalif Battle scored 21 off the bench and Arkansas held on to beat No. 7 Duke 80-75 on Wednesday night.
Playing without leading scorer Tramon Mark, the Razorbacks (5-3) snapped a two-game skid before a capacity crowd of 20,344 — a record at Bud Walton Arena. When the final horn sounded, fans rushed the floor to celebrate.
“It was awesome. Words can’t describe the feeling right now. It’s a great win,” coach Eric Musselman said after his 100th victory at Arkansas.
Duke’s Kyle Filipowski was held to three points for the Blue Devils (5-2) in the first half. He played a key role in their late rally, though, finishing with 26 points and 10 rebounds.
Mark is with the Razorbacks but he sat out because of a back injury after he was carted off the court and taken to a hospital following a hard fall during their previous game in the Bahamas. Musselman pointed to his reserves as one of the biggest reasons Arkansas was able to overcome the absence of Mark, who is averaging 18.4 points per game.
“When you look at the bench points, 36-9, I think that was a big part of tonight’s win,” Musselman said. “Because when you’re down your leading scorer and your bench goes out and outscores an opponent like that, that’s that talented, with a full roster, it’s pretty clear that we do have some depth.”
Arkansas stayed in the game early with defense, ultimately limiting Duke to 36% shooting. But it was a scoring run midway through the second half that finally broke things open in a game that was part of the ACC/SEC Challenge.
Neither team led by more than three in the first 28 minutes of the game, which included 16 lead changes. But then Arkansas went on a quick 7-0 spurt in 59 seconds just before the under-12 media timeout in the second half, prompting a Duke timeout as the Razorbacks’ lead grew to eight.
Three minutes later, Scheyer burned another timeout, his team trailing by 13 after Brazile’s blocked shot was taken the other way and finished for a layup by Layden Blocker.
Arkansas pushed the margin to 67-53 and was still up by 12 with 2:10 left before the Blue Devils cut their deficit to four with 46 seconds remaining by going on a 10-2 run. It was down to three with 18 seconds to go, but Arkansas went 4 of 6 at the free-throw line down the stretch to stave off a collapse.
Chandler Lawson had seven points, eight rebounds and six blocks for Arkansas. Battle scored 15 in the second half.