WACO, TX. (arkansasrazorbacks.com) – Arkansas and Baylor, who last met in an NCAA Elite 8 matchup two years ago, put on another classic battle Saturday afternoon at the Farrell Center with the #17 Bears taking a 67-64 victory as part of the SEC/Big12 Challenge.
Arkansas led by two five minutes to play before Baylor tied the game at 53 with 4:51 left to play. The Bears would then score four-straight points on a pair of Keyonte George baskets and later lead 62-55 with 1:21 left. However, Ricky Council IV kept Arkansas close with a pair of free throws and a jumper to get the Razorbacks to within three (62-59) with 28 seconds left.
After an Arkansas foul, BU’s Jalen Bridges went 1-of-2 at the line. Davonte Davis sprinted down the floor and converted an old-fashion 3-point play to cut the deficit to one (63-62) with 19 ticks left. The Razorbacks fouled LJ Cryer with 10 seconds left and he made both free throws for a three-point Baylor lead. Davis once again quickly pushed the ball up the court and made a layup with four seconds left to make it a one-point game once again.
George was immediately fouled on the inbounds play and made both free throws to give Baylor a 67-64 lead. Arkansas got the inbounds pass up to Davis, who was fouled just past half court with two seconds left. Davis missed the free throw and Arkansas executed a play it routinely practices. Jalen Graham tipped the ball to an open Joseph Pinion in the right corner. The shot was off in time but did not fall to give Baylor the win.
Council led Arkansas with 25 points while Davis added 16 points and four assists. Graham only scored four points but had his most impactful game of the year with a season-high nine rebounds, four assists and two steals.
George and Cryer led the Bears with 24 and 20 points, respectively. The pair were each 6-of-6 at the foul line and Baylor was 21-of-24 from the stripe from the game. Arkansas was just 6-of-11 at the line for the contest.
Arkansas will step out of league play to face #17 Baylor in the SEC-Big 12 Challenge on Saturday (Jan. 28). The game will be played in Waco, Texas. Tipoff is set for 3 pm (CT) and the game will be televised by ESPN.
FIRST HALF: Arkansas: 33 – Baylor: 27
• Baylor was in control early thanks to several first-half turnovers by the Razorbacks.
• Arkansas used a 12-1 run, including a 7-0 spurt, to tie the game at 20-20.
• After a technical foul call on the Razorback bench, Baylor went up 25-20 and led 27-22 with 4:13 to play.
• Arkansas answered with an 11-0 run, including a fastbreak layup Davonte Davis followed by a Davis dunk, to grab a 33-27 lead with 1:30 left. Neither team scored for the remainder of the half.
• Arkansas was led by Ricky Council IV with 12 points.
• Jalen Graham and Makhel Mitchell provided a boost off the bench. Mitchell had three blocked shots and Graham scored six points, seven rebounds, two assists and two steals. Mitchell was +15 and Graham was +14.
• Arkansas shot 58.3% from the field and held Baylor to 24.2%. However, Arkansas committed 11 turnovers compared to just four by Baylor.
• Arkansas had eight assists on 14 made baskets
SECOND HALF: Arkansas: 31 –Baylor: 40
• Baylor was 13-of-15 at the line. Arkansas was 3-of-4.
• After 11 first-half turnovers, Arkansas only committed four in the second half.
• Council had 11 second-half points.
• Georgie had 14 second-half points.
• For the second time this season, Arkansas wore its home white uniforms for a true road game. This time Arkansas wore its ’94 Throwback uniforms.
• Arkansas’ starting lineup was Anthony Black – Davonte Davis – Ricky Council – Jordan Walsh – Makhi Mitchell.
• Baylor won the tip.
• LJ Cryer scored the game’s first points, a 3-pointer at 19:43. Makhi Mitchell scored the first points for Arkansas, a dunk at 18:51.
• Kamani Johnson was the first Razorback sub.
• Baylor only had five assists for the game, the fewest by a Razorback opponent since Southern on Dc. 9, 2020.
• Baylor entered the game as the second-best offensive efficiency team in the country. The Bears were 30th in scoring (79.4), 38th in scoring margin (+10.1), 22nd in 3’s made per game (9.4) and 11th in free throws made per game (17.3). Arkansas held the Bears to 67 points, 33.9% from the field and 33.3% from 3-point.
• In this the 100th year of Arkansas basketball, Baylor joins Texas A&M as the only teams on Arkansas’ schedule this year that was also on the schedule in year one (1923-24).
• Baylor is Arkansas’ fourth-most common opponent all time The teams have now met 145 times with Arkansas holding a 96-49 advantage. Despite the loss, Arkansas also leads 36-33 in games played in Waco.
• Arkansas falls to 4-5 in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. The Razorbacks were 4-0 at home and 0-5 on the road. This is the final year of the Challenge.