By Kevin McPherson

FAYETTEVILLE — The 11th-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks got preseason national newcomer of the year Nick Smith, Jr., back on the court for his first game of the regular season on Monday, but with starting junior guard Davonte “Devo” Davis out of the lineup the Hogs had to shuffle personnel while grinding for most of the game before running away from Troy, 74-61, at Bud Walton Arena.

Junior wing and leading scorer Ricky Council IV paced the Hogs with a game-high 27 points (12-of-18 field goals), including 11 in a 17-0 Arkansas run that erased a three-point deficit down the stretch while sending the Hogs to their biggest lead, 72-58, with 1:03 to play.

During that game-winning run, the Hogs held the Trojans scoreless while forcing four turnovers in a 5:58 span of game-clock. Prior to that, Troy used a 12-2 run to go up 58-55 with 6:53 remaining.

Although they dished out only 4 assists in the game, the Hogs shot 64.0% from the field in the second half as part of 27-of-51 overall field goal shooting in the contest (52.9%), including 3-of-11 from 3 (27.3%). Arkansas made 17-of-23 free throws (73.9%).

After yielding 50% field goal shooting defensively in the first half (including 6-of-14 from 3), the Razorbacks limited the Trojans to 36.7% shooting in the second half (including 3-of-14 from 3). Troy finished 24-of-56 overall shooting (42.9%), including 9-of-28 from 3 (32.1%). The Trojans made 4-of-8 at the foul line (50%).

Arkansas finished plus-20 in points-in-the-paint (46-26), plus-7 on the glass (33-26), plus-3 in turnovers (18-15), points-off-turnovers (19-15), plus-4 in fastbreak points (14-10), plus-2 in steals (8-6), and plus-2 in blocks (5-3).

Senior forward / center Makhi Mitchell had 14 points (6-of-8 field goals and 2-of-2 free throws) and 9 rebounds while SEC Co-Freshman of the Week Anthony Black contributed 14 points (5-of-8 field goals, including 2-of-4 from 3, and 2-of-4 free throws), 8 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals. Senior forward / center Kamani Johnson had 8 points (included 6-of-8 free throw shooting), 3 rebounds, and 1 steal in a season-high 32 minutes. Freshman combo forward Jordan Walsh chipped in 6 points (included 4-of-5 free throw shooting), 4 rebounds, 2 steals, and 1 block.

Smith played 6 first-half minutes, missing his only field goal attempt (from 3) while grabbing a single offensive rebound. Davis is “taking some time away from basketball,” according to Arkansas head coach Eric Musselman, who added, “He has our full support during this time.”

“I thought we finished the game great,” Musselman said. “I know there was a 17-0, and I think it maybe ended up 19-3 to end the game. Everyone’s talked to me about how hard the first game is back from Maui. I can tell you, my household, it’s pretty discombobulated. It’s a lot of late-night movies at 2 in the morning … I thought the players would be fine, and I thought some of them were. And I thought some of them looked like they were still on Maui time.

“But Ricky Council is on Arkansas time and he played with great energy. I thought Anthony Black played with great energy. I thought Makhi and Makhel (Mitchell) and Kamani, I thought those guys played really, really, really hard.”

Arkansas (6-1) is back in action at home on Saturday, Dec. 3, against San Jose State at Bud Walton Arena (3 p.m. CT, SEC Network).

Arkansas is now 4-0 at home (2-1 in neutral-site games).

The Razorbacks improved to 5-1 all-time against Troy with the lone loss coming during the 2002-03 season.

The Trojans (6-2) played without leading scorer Duke Miles (concussion protocol), but second-leading scorer Nelson Phillips poured in 22 points to go with 7 rebounds. Christyon Eugene had 13 points and Zay Williams scored 11 points

Musselman is 21-1 in games played in November while coaching at Arkansas.

He’s 79-29 overall leading the program, which includes a 43-7 mark against non-conference opponents. He’s 36-22 record against SEC teams and had a 6-2 mark spanning two NCAA Tournaments that culminated in back-to-back Elite Eight runs and back-to-back final national Top 10 rankings.

With Smith back in the lineup and Davis out, Musselman started Black, Council, Walsh, Makhi Mitchell, and freshman small forward / wing Barry Dunning, Jr.

A Black steal and dunk tied the game at 10-all, and after Troy put together 5-0 and 7-2 spurts for a 25-18 lead, the Hogs strung together their own 10-2 run to go up 28-27.

Troy led 33-31 at the break.

Makhi Mitchell led Arkansas with 10 points (5-of-6 field goals) and 9 rebounds in the first 20 minutes.

Troy was 13-of-26 from the field (50%), including 6-of-14 from 3 (42.9%), and 1-of-4 (25%) from the free throw line in the first half.

The Trojans’ morphing, expanding, and contracting zone defenses hampered the Hogs. Arkansas was 12-of-26 shooting in the opening half (42.3%), including 1-of-6 from 3 (16.7%), and 8-of-10 at the foul line (80%).

Arkansas was plus-1 in turnovers (11-10) but minus-2 in points-off-turnovers (10-8). The Hogs were plus-2 on the glass (16-14) and plus-4 in points-in-the-paint (18-14).