Arkansas’ offensive struggles proved too great to overcome Thursday night as it fell 77-64 to Texas A&M at Reed Arena in College Station, Texas.
Razorback head coach Mike Neighbors ditched his usual sideline look and donned a suit to honor his mentor, former Arkansas and current A&M head coach Gary Blair.
“I’m not a college basketball coach without (Blair) taking a chance on me,” Neighbors said in his postgame press conference.
Blair, who was head coach at Arkansas from 1993-2003, hit a career milestone by winning his 850th game as a head coach with Thursday’s contest.
A&M used a hot start from Kayla Wells — who made 10 of her career-high 30 points in the first period — to give the Aggies multiple double-digit leads before Arkansas senior guard Amber Ramirez’s layup closed the lead to nine just before the end of the period.
Going into the second quarter of action, Arkansas faced an early 23-14 deficit.
In what has become a trend in recent weeks, the Hogs started hot in the second quarter with a quick 6-0 run to close the A&M advantage to three with 8:39 to play in the half. Arkansas cut it to three once again later in the quarter, before the Aggies took over for the rest of the period and held a 39-30 lead going into halftime.
After falling behind 43-30 with a little under nine minutes to play in the third quarter, the Razorbacks mounted a 9-0 run to cut the Aggie lead to four. Coming out of a timeout, A&M caught fire, outscoring the Razorbacks 21-9 the rest of the quarter, giving them a 64-48 lead heading into the final frame.
“We just ran out of gas,” Neighbors said. “That is the result of forty minutes tonight plus the compounding effect of early in the week.”
The Razorbacks and Aggies battled it out on the free throw line for much of the fourth quarter, but Arkansas was unable to overcome its lackluster shooting.
The Hogs will look to bounce back against Auburn at 7 p.m. Thursday inside Bud Walton Arena in a game that will stream live on the SEC Network+.
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