Missouri State holds off Hogs 62-57

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Chris Cooks cut to the basket for a layup with one second left on the shot clock and 19 seconds left in the game to help Missouri State hold off Arkansas 62-57 on Saturday.

Arkansas played at MSU in the first game in the Bears’ JQH Arena. The game drew a crowd of 10,285 and they saw the Razorbacks (2-1) rally from a 12-point deficit in the first half and a 13-point margin in the second.

Down 33-20 with 18:54 left in the game and 34-22 with 17:05 remaining, Arkansas stormed back and tied the game at 42-42 on a Michael Washington dunk with 11:36 left.

The Razorbacks fell behind by four, but Rotnei Clarke’s three-pointer gave the Hogs a 48-46 lead with 6:33 to go.

Cooks answered with a three for MSU (2-1) before Stefan Welsh gave Arkansas a 56-57 lead with a pair of free throws with 1:41 remaining.

Down 58-57, Arkansas forced an apparent shot clock violation on the Bears and knocked the ball out of bounds with 19 seconds to go, but the officials reviewed the play and gave MSU possession under its basket with 19 seconds left.

Cooks cut down the lane and scored off a pass from Spencer Laurie to give Missouri State a 60-57 lead.

After an Arkansas turnover, Laurie made one free throw with 12 seconds remaining. Ryan Jehle rebounded a missed three by Clarke and made a free throw with two seconds left for the final margin.

Arkansas shot 54 percent in the second half to make its run, but finished the night at 43.2 percent (19-44). The Razorbacks were 4-of-12 on threes and 15-of-24 at the line, and turned the ball over 17 times.

MSU shot 40.7 percent (22-54) and was 9-of-16 at the line, but made nine threes in 26 attempts (.346).

Isaiah Rhine hit a jumper at the 1:31 mark of the first half to give the Bears a 28-16 lead, but Courtney Fortson and Michael Sanchez hit jumpers to get Arkansas within 28-20 at the break.

Clarke led the Razorbacks with 19 points, scoring 16 in the second half on 5-of-10 shooting. Fortson had 10 points, six rebounds and four assists. Washington, Sanchez and Welsh had eight each with Sanchez adding 11 rebounds.

Kyle Weems led MSU with 16 points and was 5-of-10 on threes. Cooks finished with 15.

Arkansas plays again on Wednesday when the Razorbacks travel to South Alabama for an 8 p.m. contest, which is being televised by Comcast Sports.