Elite!!! Hogs survive ORU, advance to Elite Eight
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Arkansas, seeded third and ranked 10th, survived and advanced to the school’s first Elite Eight since 1995 on Saturday night in Bankers Life Arena thanks to a heart-stopping, roller coaster 72-70 win over #15 seed Oral Roberts.
The Razorbacks (25-6) battled back from a seven-point halftime deficit that ballooned to 12 in the second half to be all square at 70-70 with under a minute remaining. Jalen Tate’s drive to the basket was cut off in the late but the senior found Davonte Davis, who made a move around his defender and sank a jumper to give Arkansas a two-point lead with 3.1 seconds left. The nation’s leading scorer Max Abmas’ 3-point shot bounced off the rim as time expired to send the Hogs back to the Elite Eight in over 25 years.
Davis was incredible in the second half, scoring 14 of his 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting and grabbing five of his eight rebounds. Tate led the Razorbacks with 22 points and was one of four Hogs in double digits. Moses Moody added 14 and Justin Smith posted his sixth double-double of the season – and fifth over the last 16 games helping Arkansas post a 14-2 record over the span. He finished with 12 points and 14 rebounds. Smith pulled down 11 offensive rebounds with Arkansas grabbing 18 offensive boards to ORU’s six.
Arkansas was down one (21-20) in the rebound battle at halftime but out-rebounded the Eagles 26-14 in the period to hold a 46-35 advantage for the game on the boards.
The Razorbacks overcame a slow start in the first half that saw the team shoot just 31.4% and go just 1-for-7 from 3-point range. Arkansas flipped the script in the second half, however, shooting 42.9% from the floor and only attempting two 3-pointers. For the game, Arkansas outscored the Golden Eagles 42-30 in the paint and held the nation’s 12th-best 3-point shooting team to just 25.8% for the game – 2-of-14 (13.4%) in the second half.
Arkansas advances to take on top-seeded Baylor in the South Regional final on Monday night at 9:57 pm (CT) / 8:57 pm CT on CBS with a ticket to the Final Four on the line.
FIRST HALF: Arkansas 28 – Oral Roberts 35
- Oral Roberts made 3 of its first 6 3-pointers and led 9-6 at the first media timeout.
- Arkansas made just 2-of-its-first-11 shots, while all five of ORU’s first baskets were 3’s to take a 15-7 lead and force an Arkansas timeout at 12:58.
- The Razorbacks got on track with a 6-0 run and made it a 15-13 game at the second media timeout (11:31).
- JD Notae made a jumper and hit two free throws to cap a 10-0 run and give Arkansas its first lead (17-15).
- ORU regained the advantage to lead 27-24 at the final media timeout (3:09).
- The nation’s leading scorer, ORU’s Max Abmas, led all scorers with 12 points, but was just 3-of-10 from the field (3-of-5 from 3-point). Carlos Jurgens scored 11.
- ORU out-rebounded Arkansas by one, 21-20, as ORU’s Kevin Obanor had nine boards.
- Arkansas only shot 31.4% from the field, making just 1-of-7 from 3-point range.
- Jalen Tate led the Hogs with 10 points.
SECOND HALF: Arkansas 44 – Oral Roberts 35
- Arkansas got down 10 early (44-34) but Davonte Davis was keeping the Hogs alive scoring each of the team’s first six points.
- ORU pushed its lead to 12 (46-34) to force a Razorback timeout at 15:21.
- Arkansas used a 6-0 run to cut its deficit to three (48-45) at the second media timeout (11:51).
- Down seven with 8:44 left, Arkansas used a 15-5 run to lead by four with 3:31 left.
- Davonte Davis got an offensive rebound and sank a jumper at the free throw line to tie the game at 58-58 (6:58).
- Jalen Tate made a layup at 5:01 for a 2-point lead (62-60). After ORU tied it up, Tate hit another layup for a 64-62 lead.
- After an ORU turnover, Davonte Davis grabbed an offensive rebound and made the layup to give the Hogs a 66-62 lead and force an ORU timeout at 3:31.
- ORU tied the game at 66-66 and took a one-point lead, 69-68, when Kevin Obanor converted an old-fashion 3-point play with 1:48 left.
- Jalen Tate answered with a jumper in the lane with 1:34 remaining. Francis Lacis was fouled on the ensuing possession but only made one free throw to tie the game at 70-70 with 31 ticks on the clock.
- Davonte Davis, off a Jalen Tate assist, put Arkansas up two with his jumper just out side the right side of the lane near the block.
- After review, the officials put 3.1 seconds on the clock for the Eagles’ final play. Max Abmas caught the inbounds pass on the 3-point line, dribbled down the right side and attempted a game-winning 3-pointer from the from the right wing but it bounced off the front rim as time expired.
- In addition to Davis’ 14 points in the period, Jalen Tate had 12 with five assists in the second half while Moses Moody added 10 points and two blocked shots.
- Justin Smith, Davonte Davis, Moses Moody and Jalen Tate each played all 20 minutes of the second half. Desi Sills played 15 and led the team with +15 in the half.
- Arkansas is now 7-4 when playing in the NCAA Sweet 16. Arkansas will be making its 11th Elite 8 appearance and first since 1995 – the year Arkansas was national runner-up.
- Arkansas is 12-2 all-time versus Oral Roberts – and 2-0 this year.
- Arkansas trailed by 10 in the teams’ first meeting this year and won by 11. In the Sweet 16, Arkansas trailed the Eagles by seven at halftime and won by two.
- This is the second-straight, two-point win by the Razorbacks with the opponent having the ball with a shot to tie or win each time.
- Arkansas is dominating the second half in its three NCAA Tournament wins. The Hogs are averaging 42.7 points in the second half while holding the opponents to 35.0 points. Also, Arkansas is also shooting 44.1 FG% and has committed just 12 turnovers, holding opponents to 41.0 FG% and forcing 24 turnovers.
- Eric Musselman has trailed by double digits in each of his five NCAA Tournament wins, including all three this season.
- Arkansas wore its “hog” white jersey for the eighth time this year and is 8-0 in such games, including all four of its postseason wins this season.
- Arkansas is 17-2 when out-rebounding its opponent and 13-2 when four players score in double figures.
- Arkansas is 7-5 this season when trailing at the half
- Arkansas is now 5-0 this year when playing an opponent for the second time. Arkansas was 2-0 versus Auburn and Oral Roberts while avenging losses to Missouri, Alabama and LSU this season.
- Arkansas is 15-0 under Eric Musselman when having at least four days to prepare for an opponent – 8-0 this year and 7-0 last season. Overall, Musselman is 44-7 as a collegiate head coach when having four days to prepare.
- Arkansas nearly had its 3-point streak snapped as the Hogs were just 1-of-9 from 3-point range with Jalen Tate making the team’s only triple. Arkansas has the nation’s third-longest streak of making a 3-pointer now with a trey in 1,074 consecutive games. UNLV leads the list at 1,127 games and Duke is second at 1,112.
- Arkansas’ starting lineup was Jalen Tate (G) – Davonte Davis (G) – Moses Moody (G) – Justin Smith (F) – Jaylin Williams (F) for the second (straight) time this season.
- Arkansas won the opening tip. Arkansas is 16-3 when controlling the tip.
- ORU’s Francis Lacis scored the first points of the game, a 3-pointer at 19:15. Jaylin Williams scored Arkansas’ first points, a layup at 18:03. Arkansas is 9-2 when the opponent scores first.
- JD Notae and Desi Sills were the first subs for Arkansas.
- Moses Moody has 528 points this year. He is 12 points shy of the school freshman scoring record of 540 by Scottie Thurman in 1992-93.
- Jalen Tate led Arkansas with 22 points. It was his second time this season to lead the team in scoring. (He led Arkansas with 15 points in the win over Kentucky.) It marked his third time to score 20-plus points this season and ninth of his career.
- Moses Moody tied his career high with three blocked shots.
- Justin Smith is the only Razorback (since 1996-97) to have two games with at least 10 offensive rebounds in a game. Smith had 11 in the Sweet 16 versus Oral Roberts and had 10 versus Oral Roberts earlier this year. Smith is the only Razorback with double-digit rebounds in an NCAA Tournament game.
- Davonte Davis’ game-winning basket with 3.1 seconds is Arkansas’ first that late an NCAA win since US Reed hit a halfcourt shot at the buzzer to beat Louisville and send Arkansas to the Sweet 16 in 1981.
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