The Arkansas Razorbacks (3-0) faced off against the Montana Grizzlies (1-2) Saturday in Bud Walton Arena, where the Razorbacks’ defense led them to another win, 64-46.
The Razorback defense has been relentless this year, holding all three of their opponents under 50 points. Arkansas has only allowed 132 points through three games this season, the lowest the Hogs have announced since the 1946-47 season.
Arkansas head coach Eric Musselman thought the defense played well, especially locking down Montana’s star scorer, Sayeed Pridgett.
“On nights where you can’t score, you have to up your defensive intensity,” Musselman said.
The Hogs did just that.
Pridgett entered the game averaging 23.5 points per game and was limited to 15 points and seven turnovers against the Hog defense.
Arkansas forced a total of 23 turnovers and only committed 13, a margin that helped the Hogs distance themselves from the Grizzlies.
Musselman said the 13 turnovers were still four or five over what he would like to see.
Montana made 18 of 55 shots (32.7%) and two of 16 3-pointers (12.5%). Arkansas also struggled from the field, shooting 20 for 54 (37%) and making only four 3-point shots on 21 attempts (19%).
Arkansas sophomore Isaiah Joe struggled with his shot, shooting two-for-13 overall and two-for-nine from 3-point range, but Musselman encouraged him to keep shooting.
“I’d rather have a tired Isaiah Joe shooting than somebody else,” Musselman said.
Junior guard Mason Jones led the game in scoring, putting in 19 points. He shot five-for-13, and one of five from three. Jones was a perfect eight-for-eight from the free throw line, making him 21-for-21 on the season.
“My confidence level is as high as it's probably ever been,” Jones said.
Senior forward Adrio Bailey posted his first career double-double in the game. Bailey notched 12 points, 11 rebounds (five offensive) and was 4-7 shooting including 4-6 from 3-point range.
“I want it to be the first of many,” Bailey said about his double-double.
Bailey’s hustle was a spark for the team throughout the game.
Graduate transfer Jimmy Whitt Jr scored 14 points on six of 12 shooting and got seven boards.
Arkansas has started the season off hot. After the game, Jones summarized the team mentality going forward:
“We’re not satisfied at all,” Jones said. “We’re 3-0 but it’s 3 games we’re supposed to win.”
The Razorbacks look to continue their winning streak when they take on the Texas Southern Tigers on Tuesday at 7 p.m. on Nolan Richardson Court in Bud Walton Arena.