The Arkansas men’s basketball team improved its winning streak to six after a 100-75 victory over the Central Arkansas Bears on Saturday at Bud Walton Arena.
The Razorbacks had a slow start and spent several minutes of the first half trailing Central Arkansas. It was the first game of the season in which Arkansas did not score immediately after winning the tip-off. Head coach Eric Musselman said that he thought trailing was good for the team and a lot of positives came out of it.
“I’m proud of how we took care of the ball other than those first five or six minutes of the game,”
Musselman said in a postgame press conference.
Senior guard Jalen Tate made the first score for the Razorbacks and reached 1,000 career points during the first half of the game. Tate scored 17 points and had 11 assists, which resulted in his third career double-double, all while playing with an injured ankle.
“It makes me feel really old,” Tate said. “I’ve been in this thing forever and it took me awhile to get to 1,000, but it’s a great feeling and a huge accomplishment.”
Musselman praised Tate’s performance and said that he will be resting next week because of his injury.
“I think that 1,000 points is a great mark for any college basketball player from a scoring standpoint,” Musselman said.
Sophomore forward Connor Vanover has proved himself essential as a defensive and offensive player. Last Wednesday, Vanover only had three points against Southern University, but ended the game against Central Arkansas with nine points.
Junior guard JD Notae led the team to victory with 22 points. A majority of his shots were from the 3-point range and he reached 1,000 career points during the second half of the game, following shortly behind Tate’s milestone.
“I’m happy for me and Jalen,” Notae said. “We’re together a lot so we knew it was going to happen, but we didn’t know it was going to happen on the same day.”
Arkansas scored 59 points during the second half and shot 60.5% from the field. Notae made the last two shots of the game for the Razorbacks, which provided them with 100 points total to beat the Bears by 25 points.
The last time Arkansas played against Central Arkansas was in the 1946-1947 season. The Razorbacks are now 7-0 all-time against the Bears. Musselman said he has great respect for Central Arkansas and the way the team played.
“I loved the pace we played at,” Musselman said. “We knew that Central Arkansas ran the ball, so for us, it was important to run with them. We didn’t want to slow the tempo down at all.”
Musselman praised the players for their personal goals this season and a lot of the athletes on the team are focused on the future.
“I’ve been impressed with the work ethic of our players,” Musselman said. “On their own, getting shots up, getting reps up, asking for more film. I really, really like the business-like approach of our guys right now at trying to get better.”
The Razorbacks are scheduled to host Oral Roberts on Sunday, Dec. 20 at 1 p.m. The game will be broadcast on the SEC Network.