No player on the court Saturday afternoon had ever taken part in the Arkansas-Texas rivalry. That didn’t make things any less intense between the Hogs and Horns.
In a game headlined by trash talk and physical play, Arkansas defeated Texas 77-74 at the Toyota Center in Houston. It was the first matchup on the hardwood between the longtime rivals in six years. The win for the Razorbacks snaps a two-game losing streak to the Longhorns, and gives them 87 wins in 154 meetings in the series.
The win improves Arkansas to 9-1 while the Longhorns fall to 5-5 on the season.
Arkansas shot just 26.5 percent (9-34) from the field in the first half. Still, the Hogs trailed just 35-30 at the break, in large part because they made 11 of 12 free-throw attempts over the opening 20 minutes. Senior forward Moses Kingsley, the preseason SEC Player of the Year, was held scoreless in the opening half.
The Razorbacks continued getting to the free-throw line in the second half, going 18 of 19 from their to finish at 93.5 percent (29-31) for the game. The Hogs were also better from the field in the second half as they finished the game at 35.5 percent (22-62).
At one point, Arkansas used a 15-3 run to take a nine-point lead with just under 12 minutes remaining. Texas overcame the deficit down the stretch, tying the game at 61 with 4:41 to go. The Hogs then answered with a 10-1 run. Again, Texas responded by cutting the lead to just two in the final minute. The Razorbacks were able to hold on by converting all four of their free throws in the final 30 seconds.
Kingsley responded from the quiet first-half performance to finish with 7 points, 10 rebounds and 5 blocks.
Stat line of the game
Arkansas guard Daryl Macon led the charge at the free-throw line. The junior was aggressive all afternoon, earning 14 chances at the stripe and converting all of them. He finished with a season-high 23 points.
Macon has now scored in double figures in seven of the Hogs’ 10 games this season.
Arkansas’ outstanding defense on Texas’ final possession. Trailing by three, the Longhorns were unable to get a good look and were forced into a well-defended desperation 3-pointer that resulted in an air ball at the final buzzer.
vs. North Dakota State
Tuesday, Dec. 20, Bud Walton Arena
6 p.m. CT (SEC Network)