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Razorbacks’ valiant effort against Kentucky comes up short

Hogs have the defense, but no offense late in game against No. 6 Wildcats on Saturday.

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Despite a double-double from Makhi Mitchell (12 points and 13 rebounds) and Arkansas out-rebounding Kentucky, 44-39, the No. 6 Wildcats used an 8-0 run late in the game to secure a 63-57 victory Saturday afternoon at Bud Walton Arena.

The 13 rebounds by Mitchell were a season high as well as being his best total in an SEC game.

Arkansas led at halftime and seven minutes into the second half and was down one with 2:54 left to play before the 8-0 run. Antonio Reeves started the surge with a 3-pointer, D.J. Wagner followed with a layup and Reed Sheppard capped the run with a 3-pointer with 1:27 left. The last two baskets for the Wildcats came from Razorback turnovers.

Both teams struggled offensively in the first half, each going 9-of-31 from the field (29%), Arkansas making just 2-of-10 from 3-point range and Kentucky making just 2-of-9.

The difference in the second half was Kentucky making 7-of-11 from 3-point range with Arkansas going 2-of-9.

The 24 first-half points by Kentucky were the fewest by the Wildcats in the series with the Razorbacks (97 total halves of basketball) – HogStats.com. Overall, the 63 points was the second-lowest by Kentucky this season. The Wildcats entered the game first in the NCAA in scoring at 89.9 ppg.

Kentucky was led by Sheppard’s 24 points with Tre Mitchell adding a double-double (10 points and 11 rebounds).

Arkansas was led by Mitchell’s 12 points and four blocked shots. He was 8-of-10 at the line with the eight makes tying his career high. Khalif Battle and Tramon Mark each added 11 points. Chandler Lawson contributed seven rebounds.

Arkansas hits the road for its next two games. First, the Razorbacks play at Missouri on Wednesday (Jan. 31) at 7 p.m. and will close the week at LSU on Saturday at 11 a.m.

Tramon Mark (Andy Hodges / allHOGS Images)

Hogs Game Notes

• Arkansas starters were El Ellis, Khalif Battle, Tramon Mark, Jalen Harris and Chandler Lawson.

• Kentucky controlled the tip to start the game.

• El Ellis scored the first points of the game with a 3-pointer at 17-45.

• Makhi Mitchell was the first Razorback sub.

• Arkansas entered the game third in the NCAA in blocked shots and finished with nine. With Mitchell’s four blocked shots today, Arkansas has had a player with at least three blocked shots in a game in 12 of its 20 games.

• Trevon Brazile missed the game due to right knee soreness.

• Arkansas is now 7-12 all-time versus the AP #6 team and falls to 4-4 in such games at home. Ironically, the last Razorback win over #6 was versus Kentucky on Feb. 26, 2022, in Bud Walton Arena.

• Arkansas now trails Kentucky 14-35 in the all-time series and 8-10 in games in Fayetteville. Kentucky has won two straight in the series after Arkansas had won three straight. Coach Muss is 3-3 all-time versus Kentucky (all at Arkansas).

• Layden Blocker was a team-best +7 in 5:27 played. Jalen Graham, who battled foul trouble, was +3 in 17:51 played.

 

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