TULSA, Okla. – Arkansas closed the first half with a 12-4 run, opened the second half with an 11-2 spurt and never looked back in an 88-78 win over Oklahoma Saturday afternoon in the second annual Crimson and Cardinal Classic, played at the BOK Center.
The #9/8 Razorbacks improve to 9-1 while the Sooners fall to 7-3. The teams have split the two-game, neutral-site series to date with the designated home team winning each year.
Ricky Council IV scored a game-high 26 points, including 17 in the first half. He and Davonte Davis, who had a steal and two free throws with 5.1 seconds left before the break, sparked the run to end the first half.
Arkansas missed its first two shots of the second half before making eight straight to take a 60-48 lead.
Oklahoma got to within nine (73-68) with 4:47 left after a Tanner Groves 3-pointer. However, Jordan Walsh answered with a triple of his own. The Sooners made a couple more 3’s inside the final 1:30 to get to within nine twice.
With 1:05 left, Kamani Johnson helped put the game out of reach. After Davonte Davis missed the second of two free throws, Walsh had a putback attempt miss but Johnson was there to tip the ball in to put the Hogs up 12.
Nick Smith Jr., finished with 21 points. Walsh tied his season high with 12 points, making two triples, and Makhi Mitchell added 10 points with six rebounds and a season-high four assists. Anthony Black and Council each had five assists.
Grant Sherfield led Oklahoma with 23 points while Milos Urzan and Jalen Hill added 15 and 11, respectively.
Arkansas will take a week off due to final exams and returns to action Saturday (Dec. 17) for its annual trip to North Little Rock to host Bradley at Simmons Bank Arena. Tipoff is set for 3 pm (CT).
FIRST HALF: Arkansas: 43 – Oklahoma: 40
• Arkansas ended the half on a 12-4 run thanks to a deep 3-pointer from Ricky Council IV as the shot clock expired followed by a Council old-fashion 3-point play. Then, as the half was expiring, Davonte Davis had a steal, was fouled and hit two free throws with 5.1 seconds left to provide the 43-40 halftime score.
• Council scored 17 for the Razorbacks while Nick Smith Jr., added 10.
• Arkansas was only whistled for three fouls and the Sooners did not attempt a free throw. The Razorbacks were 7-of-9 from the line.
• The Sooners shot 62.1% from the field, including 4-of-8 from 3-point range.
• Grant Sherfield led the Sooners with 11 points.
SECOND HALF: Arkansas: 45 – Oklahoma: 38
• Nick Smith Jr., led Arkansas with 11 second-half points.
• Arkansas has 11 assists on 18 made baskets in the period.
• All five of Council’s assists came in the second half.
• Sherfield had 12 points in the half to lead Oklahoma.
• The Razorbacks shot 62.1 percent from the field in the half.
• Arkansas’ starting lineup was Anthony Black – Nick Smith Jr. – Ricky Council IV – Jordan Walsh – Makhi Mitchell for the third consecutive game.
• Arkansas won the tip.
• Makhi Mitchell scored the game’s first points, a layup at 19:47 on a pass from Anthony Black.
• Davonte Davis and Jalen Graham were the first Razorback subs for the first time this season.
• The 58 points in the paint are the fourth-most versus a Power-5 opponent and the most in a game away from Bud Walton Arena.
• For the second time this season, Ricky Council IV played all 40 minutes of a regulation game. He has now played all 20 minutes in a half nine times.
• All eight Razorbacks that played were credited with at least one steal. Walsh and Black each had two.