The Arkansas men’s basketball team (9-1, SEC 1-1) faced its first loss of the season against the No. 12 Missouri Tigers (7-1, SEC 1-1), 81-68, Saturday, Jan. 2 in Fayetteville.
It was the Razorbacks first game without graduate senior forward Justin Smith, who sustained a right ankle injury in the 97-85 win over the Auburn Tigers on Wednesday, Dec. 30. Smith will be out three-to-six weeks after undergoing successful arthroscopic debridement surgery. He has an average of 11.6 points per game this season.
Junior guard JD Notae led the Hogs in scoring with 19 points, but did not have the best day, shooting 6-18. Freshman guard Moses Moody followed with 18 points and was 4-15 from the field.
The Razorback team as a whole seemed to struggle with shooting in the matchup.
Arkansas shot 26.8% in the game, including 7-28 from 3-point range and 23-34 from the free throw line. It was the Razorbacks’ third-worst shooting performance in an SEC game and worst ever in Bud Walton Arena, according to HogStats.com.
“I’ll be honest. I didn’t think anybody played very good today,” said Arkansas head coach Eric Musselman, who was ejected with 3:51 left in the game after getting two technical fouls. “I didn’t think I coached good. I didn’t think the assistant coaches coached good.”
The Tigers' win ended a six-game losing streak at Bud Walton Arena, where Missouri last won 75-71 on Jan. 28, 2014.
Mizzou turned over the ball 21 times, but the Hogs were only able to muster out 15 points on those opportunities.
“You can’t make this up,” Musselman said. “You can’t make up that you lose a game by double digits and cause 21 turnovers.”
The Hogs had only seven assists, compared to their 13 against Auburn. There were a total of 57 fouls in the game.
With 3:24 remaining in the game, the Tigers were ahead by 18. After a layup by junior guard Desi Sills, the Hogs went on an 8-0 run to come within 10 with 1:55 left. However, a 3-point basket by Mizzou senior guard Mark Smith sealed the game for the Tigers.
The Razorback men’s basketball team will travel to Knoxville, Tennessee, to take on the No. 7 Tennessee Volunteers on Wednesday, Jan. 6 at 6 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2.