How sweet it is!!!! Hogs are headed to Sweet 16
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – For the first time since 1996, Arkansas is headed back to the Sweet 16 with an exciting 68-66 win over Texas Tech on Sunday evening in historic Hinkle Fieldhouse.
Arkansas, ranked 10th and seeded #3 in the South Region, improves to 24-6 while Texas Tech, ranked 21st and seeded #6, ends the season with an 18-11 record.
In a game full of runs, the Razorbacks withstood a late one from the Red Raiders, who closed within a point with just over a minute remaining. J.D. Notae’s free throw made it a two-point game but his miss on the second set up a dramatic ending. Texas Tech’s Kyler Edwards’ driving layup in the final seconds was too hard off the glass and Notae snatched the rebound to seal the Hogs’ trip to the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament.
Arkansas used an 11-5 run to end the first half and take a two-point lead into the half, a lead it would not surrender the rest of the game. Those two points proved to be the difference as the two teams were deadlocked at 35-35 in the second half. The late run erased an early Texas Tech lead with the deficit ballooning to 10 points halfway through the opening half. The comeback win is the ninth this season for Arkansas when trailing by double digits.
Four Razorbacks scored at least 10 points with Justin Smith leading the way with 20 points and six rebounds. Freshmen Moses Moody and Devonte Davis each added 15 points and six boards apiece. Jalen Tate scored 10 and freshman Jaylin Williams led the squad with 10 rebounds and a career-high four assists.
The Razorbacks advance to their 10th Sweet 16 and will play Oral Roberts on Saturday (Mar. 27). Arkansas faced ORU earlier this season (Dec. 20) and beat the Golden Eagles, 87-76, in Bud Walton Arena.
FIRST HALF: Arkansas 33 – Texas Tech 31
- Arkansas scored the first five points of the game, but Texas Tech scored the next six to lead 6-5 at the first media timeout (15:56).
- The Red Raiders came out hot, shooting 54.5% from the field compared to 38.5% by Arkansas, to lead 15-11 at the second media timeout (11:49).
- The Hogs were down 10 (23-13) before JD Notae hit back-to-back 3-pointers. The teams traded free throws and Tech led 24-20 at the third media timeout (7:38).
- Arkansas held Texas Tech to 1-of-9 from the field and Davonte Davis tied the game (27-27) at 5:46. Davis later gave Arkansas its first lead (31-29) since the 5-0 start with a jumper.
- Justin Smith had an offensive rebound and putback to give Arkansas a 33-31 lead with 3:11 left before the break. However, neither team scored the rest of the period.
- After the hot tart, Texas Tech ended up shooting 36.4& from the field and Arkansas improved to 42.4%.
- There were only six turnovers in the first half, four by Arkansas.
- Justin Smith led the Hogs with 10 points while Davonte Davis had nine. Smith, Davis and Jaylin Williams each grabbed four rebounds.
SECOND HALF: Arkansas 35 – Texas Tech 35
- Davonte Davis opened the second half with a jumper at the left elbow.
- Arkansas opened the second half with a 11-4 run (making 4-of-8 shots and holding Tech to 1-of-4), out-rebounded the Red Raiders 5-2, drew two charges and led (44-35) at the first media timeout (16:02).
- Arkansas struggled from the free throw line to start the second half, making just 4-of-7, but took its largest lead of 13 points (56-43) with 9:04 remaining.
- Texas Tech went on an 11-0 run to get to within two (56-54). Moses Moody ended the run with a basket at 5:48. Moody later banked a 3-pointer to put the Hogs up 61-57. Jalen Tate sank two free throws and Arkansas led 63-57 at the final media timeout (3:55). Coming out of the timeout, Tate made two more free throws to lead 65-57.
- Tech answered with a run to get tow within two (65-63).
- Justin Smith had a dunk on the ensuing possession for a four-point cushion (67-63) with 2:47 left. TTU made two free throws over the next minute and was down one (67-66) with 1:56 left.
- Neither team scored until JD Notae sank a free throw with 19 seconds left for a two-point cushion to set up the exciting finish.
- Moses Moody led Arkansas with 11 second-half points, adding four rebounds.
- Jaylin Williams has six of his 10 rebounds in the second half with four assists.
- After getting its two-point lead with three minutes left in the first half, Arkansas never surrendered the lead the rest of the game.
- For the first time on record, Arkansas did not record one steal in the game.
- Eric Musselman has trailed by double digits in each of his four NCAA tournament wins (two at Nevada and two at Arkansas). Arkansas has been down by double digits in the first half in five of its last six wins including down 14 to Colgate and down 10 to Texas Tech.
- Arkansas is 403-115 all-time as a ranked team and improves to 101-154 when playing a ranked team. Arkansas is 14-3 as the #10 team and is 5-3 when playing the #21 team.
- Arkansas improves to 44-32 in the NCAA Tournament. Arkansas is now 10-10 in second round games and improve to 3-1 as the #3 seed.
- Arkansas squares the all-time series with former Southwest Conference rival Texas Tech, 40-40. Arkansas has won 10 of the last 13 versus the Red Raiders.
- Arkansas advances to the NCAA Sweet 16 on the 40th anniversary of U.S. Reed’s historic halfcourt shot to beat Louisville (Mar. 14, 1981) to advance to the Sweet 16.
- Jalen Tate was a perfect 6-of-6 at the free throw line to exact revenge on Texas Tech in the NCAA Tournament. Tate’s Northern Kentucky team lost to Tech in the first round of the 2019 Tournament.
- Arkansas won its eighth NCAA QUAD 1 game over its last 12 contests.
- Only seven Razorbacks played in the win. It was the fewest in an NCAA game since Mar. 14, 1979 versus Indiana State in the Elite 8. (HogStats.com)
- Arkansas’ starting lineup was Jalen Tate (G) – Davonte Davis (G) – Moses Moody (G) – Justin Smith (F) – Jaylin Williams (F) for the first time this season. It marked Jaylin William’s third start of the year.
- Arkansas won the opening tip. Arkansas is 15-3 when controlling the tip.
- Justin Smith scored the game’s first points, an old-fashion 3-point play at 19:43. Arkansas is 16-4 when it scores first.
- JD Notae was the first sub for Arkansas. It is the 14th time he has been the first sub and Arkansas is 12-2 in those games.
- Jaylin Williams drew two charges in the first six minutes of the second half pushing his team-leading total to 15. A few possessions later, Moses Moody drew his 12th charge of the season.
- Jaylin Williams tied his career high with 10 rebounds. It marked the fourth time he has grabbed 10 boards in a game this season. His four assists were a career-high.
- Justin Smith has scored at least 20 points in his third consecutive game. He had never scored 20 in back-to-back games until this stretch. He has eight career 20-point games, five this season.
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