#14 North Carolina Pulls Away from #20 Arkansas
PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas – Arkansas was down six (67-61) with 7:02 left and eight (74-66) with just under five minutes to play but #14 North Carolina was able to withstand any threats by the #20 Razorbacks for an 87-72 victory in the third-place game of the 2023 Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis Friday afternoon.
The outcome took a back seat to an injury suffered by Razorback Tramon Mark, who left the game on a stretcher with 1:12 left in the game. The junior was having his best career game with 34 points, making 13-of-17 shots (including 4-of-6 from 3-point range) and had a team-best five rebounds.
Mark was taken to and released from a local hospital. He had an MRI which showed no significant injury to his back and he will be allowed to travel back to Fayetteville with the team tomorrow morning (Nov. 25). He was later named to the Battle 4 Atlantis All-Tournament team.
North Carolina was down three at halftime but shot 58.6% from the field in the second half while out-rebounding the Razorbacks 20-12 to secure the win.
RJ Davis led North Carolina with 30 points (10-of-10 from the free throw line) with 21 of his points coming in the second half. Harrison Ingram finished with a double-double (13 points and 10 rebounds) and Seth Trimble scored 11, making a pair of key 3-pointers in the second half.
Arkansas closed the first half on a 15-4 run, including an 8-0 spurt that turned into a 12-1 run. Mark scored seven and Layden Blocker had a steal and dunk with three seconds left before the break to put the Hogs up three, 38-35. Mark scored 20 in the first half, going 8-of-8 from the field and making both of his 3-pointers.
Blocker finished with 11 points and three steals.
Up next, Arkansas returns home to host Duke on Wednesday (Nov. 29) in the inaugural SEC-ACC Challenge. Tipoff at Bud Walton Arena is set for 8:15 pm (CT) and the game will be televised on ESPN.
- Arkansas starters were Layden Blocker, Davonte Davis, Tramon Mark, Trevon Brazile and Makhi Mitchell.
- Arkansas controlled the tip to start the game.
- Makhi Mitchell scored the first points of the game at 19:40.
- El Ellis and Khalif Battle were the first Razorback subs.
- This was the 11th all-time meeting between the program and all 11 have been on neutral courts. North Carolina leads the series 8-3 and it was the first meeting between the programs in exactly six years (Nov. 34, 2017).
- Tramon Mark scored 25 points in the Stanford win in the tournament opener and he has scored 20-plus in three of his last four. Mark is the 52nd Razorback with 30-plus in a game and it was the 138th time a Razorback had 30-plus points in a game.
- Layden Blocker had three steals in both of his starts in the Battle 4 Atlantis.
2023 BATTLE 4 ATLANTIS ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAMEric Dixon, Villanova (MVP)Justin Moore, VillanovaDavid Jones, MemphisRJ Davis, North CarolinaTramon Mark, Arkansas
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