Hogs open SEC play with win at Auburn
AUBURN, Ala. – Desi Sills scored a career-high 23 points and JD Notae added 21 to lead Arkansas to a 97-85 victory to open SEC play at Auburn Wednesday night.
Overall, five Razorbacks scored in double figures with Connor Vanover adding 17, Moses Moody 16 and Jalen Tate 12.
Arkansas is 9-0 this season with all nine wins coming in double digits to become the first school in SEC to accomplish the feat in six years. The Razorbacks were 8-0 to start last year and, with their 9-0 start this season, it marks the best opening to back-to-back seasons since 1977-78 (14-0) and 1978-79 (10-0).
While Auburn kept the game close, the Razorbacks only trailed once, 12-11, and for just 19 seconds in the game. Auburn did tie the game twice, the last coming at 74-74 with 7:03 left in the game. However, Vanover answered with a tip-in dunk Arkansas to spur a 10-0 run and the Razorbacks never looked back.
Arkansas returns home to host #12 Missouri on Saturday – Jan. 2. The game will be nationally televised on CBS with tipoff set for 11 am (CT).
FIRST HALF: Arkansas 47 – Auburn 41
- Arkansas scored the first seven points of the game.
- Auburn took a brief 12-11 lead before Moses Moody hit back-to-back jumpers – a 3-pointer and long 2-pointer.
- Auburn’s first nine shots were from 3-point range. The Tigers made five and 10 of their first 13 shots overall were 3’s.
- Auburn tied the game at 34-34 at 3:46. Jalen Tate broke the tie and Arkansas led the rest of the way.
- Overall, Arkansas led 19:02 of the first 20 minutes.
- Arkansas had 11 assists on 18 made baskets and Auburn had 11 on 15 made baskets.
- Both teams took 17 first-half 3’s – Auburn made nine and Arkansas seven.
- Desi Sills led Arkansas with 16 points while Moses Moody added 10.
SECOND HALF: Arkansas 50 – Auburn 44
- Justin Smith missed the second half after injuring his ankle in the first half.
- Auburn tied the game at 74-74 with two free throws at 7:30. Connor Vanover put the Hogs back in front with a tip-dunk.
- With Smith out, Davonte Davis saw extended playing time in the second half. He came through with several key plays during the 10-0 run.
^ With Arkansas up two (76-74), Davis tipped a loose rebound to Connor Vanover that led to two free throws by Moses Moody.
^ With Arkansas up four (78-74), Davis grabbed an offensive rebound off two free throw misses by Desi Sills that led to a JD Notae layup for a six-point lead.
^ A minute later, Davis had a steal and Arkansas would go up eight (82-74) after two free throws by Connor Vanover.
^ Capped the 10-0 run with a jumper as the shot clock was running out.
- After scoring 17 of his 19 in the second half last game, Notae scored 19 of his 21 in the second half at Auburn.
- Arkansas is now 35-20 all-time versus Auburn and 18-12 when playing its SEC opener.
- Arkansas is 6-8 when playing its SEC opener on the road, including a 3-0 mark at Auburn.
- Arkansas’ starting lineup was Jalen Tate (G) – Desi Sills (G) – Moses Moody (G) – Justin Smith (F) – Connor Vanover (F) for the eighth straight game.
- For the seventh time this season, Arkansas controlled the tip.
- Moses Moody scored the game’s first points, a 3-pointers from the left corner at 19:47.
- JD Notae was the first sub for Arkansas for the sixth time in nine games.
- This was the second straight game Desi Sills scored 16 points in the first half.
- Arkansas has won all nine games this year by at least 11 points and has won 10 straight, all by double digits, dating back to a win over Vanderbilt at last year’s SEC Tournament. Arkansas’ best win streak in the same season with all being in double digits is 10 in 1991-92 (Dec. 29 to Jan. 23) during an overall, 20-game win streak that season.
- Arkansas has had a scoring run of at least 10-0 in all nine games this season while opponents have yet to have a double-digit run.
- Arkansas led for 38:33 at Auburn – trailing for just 19 seconds (12-11 in the first half). Arkansas has led for at least 27 minutes in eight of nine games and led for at least 35 minutes in seven of nine. Arkansas has only trailed for a total of 36:35 this season, including 20:20 in one game (Oral Roberts).
- Desi Sills led the team in scoring for the first time this season. Arkansas now has six different players led the team in scoring for a game this season. Arkansas has also had at least three players score in double figures in all nine games, including four games with at least five in double figures.
- Desi Sills scored a career-high 23 points. His previous best was 21 at Georgia last season. He added six rebounds (four offensive) with two assists, two steals and a blocked shot.
- Moses Moody is the only Razorback to score in double figures in all nine games. He is also the only Razorback to make a 3-pointer in all nine games. He finished with 16 points, six rebounds and two steals. He also led the team in Plus-Minus at +15 – the only Razorback with a Plus-Minus in double figures. He played a season-high and team-best 38:27.
- Moses Moody was 6-of-6 at the free throw line. He has made 11 in a row. He had a streak of 15 consecutive makes earlier this season.
- JD Notae was 7-of-9 at the free throw line en route to his 21 points. He added a season-high four steals.
^ JD Notae became the first Razorback to get 21+ points, 3+ rebounds, 2+ assists, 4+ steals and 2+ blocks off the bench since Patrick Beverley vs. Oral Roberts on 12/22/2006 (25-4-4-4-2) (HogStats).
- Connor Vanover was 6-of-6 at the free throw line en route to his 17 points. Vanover is 12-of-12 at the line this season.
- Auburn’s 15 made 3’s is the most by an opponent in the Musselman era as was Auburn’s 3PT% of .517 (15-of-29). The 15 3’s and 51,7 3PT% are also the most by an Arkansas opponent since Auburn made 17 3’s and shot 51.5 3PT% (17-of-33) the last time Arkansas traveled to Auburn (Feb. 20, 2019).
- Arkansas handed Auburn just its fourth loss at home over the last two-plus years (15-1 in 2018-19, 15-2 in 2019-20 and now 4-1 in 2020-21).
- Arkansas scored 50 second-half points at Auburn. It was the fifth time this season the Razorbacks have scored at least 50 in a half.
^ 61 1st half vs MVSU • 81 2nd half vs MVSU • 59 2nd half vs UCA • 57 2nd half vs ORU • 50 i2nd half at Auburn
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