Senior guard Stanley Umude threw down a scintillating slam Saturday night with under a second left to shut the lights off in Bud Walton Arena and seal the win for the Razorbacks over the Texas A&M Aggies in a 76-73 overtime thriller.
The Razorbacks got going early, much to the delight of the fans in attendance. The Hogs went on a 20-4 run to open the game, capped off by an impressive alley-oop slam by senior guard Au’Diese Toney.
The Hogs then started to cool down, just as the Aggies began to heat up. They held a 30-19 lead with just 5:23 left in the half, but after senior guard JD Notae and sophomore forward Jaylin Williams left the floor because of foul trouble, the Aggies closed the distance and brought the score to 33-29 at halftime.
“The game in College Station, we got off to a really good start too,” Arkansas head coach Eric Musselman said in the postgame press conference. “They’re a team that’s scrappy and competitive. They got a heck of a record, (and) they’re going to keep coming at you.”
The Aggies carried the momentum over and started the second half off by cutting the Razorback lead to 40-39. Arkansas felt A&M on its heels and rattled off a 10-2 run. The Aggies responded with a five-point run to cut the lead in half and bring the score to 51-46 with 8:52 remaining in the game.
They completed the comeback with 4:08 remaining, tying the game at 56, but failing to take the lead. The Razorbacks stormed back and held a six-point lead with just 58 seconds on the clock. The Aggies were fouled on a 3-point attempt, and hit all three resulting free throws to cut the score to 64-61. A Texas A&M 3-pointer tied the game at 64 with just nine seconds left, and pushed it to overtime.
The Razorbacks were without Notae in overtime after he fouled out late in the second half. A&M took advantage by forcing a turnover on Arkansas’ first possession, and gained its first lead of the game with 4:16 left in overtime.
The Razorbacks tied the game once again with two Toney free throws. The Aggies responded with a layup to retake the lead, their last of the game.
Sophomore guard Davonte Davis converted a layup and-one to take a 69-68 lead with 2:31 left in the overtime period. The Aggies sank a 3-pointer to bring the score to 72-71 with 0:42 remaining.
Williams hit the biggest shot of the night, a fadeaway from the elbow on what seemed like a dead possession, to put the Hogs up 74-71. The Aggies hit a pair of free throws, but Umude shut the door with his dunk to close the game.
“(Closing the game out) says we’re a strong, confident team”, Williams said. “We’ve seen everything this year, so regardless of what the score is, I know this team is always going to fight back.”
The Razorbacks will get the chance to continue their four-game conference winning streak when they take on the Ole Miss Rebels in Oxford, Mississippi, at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The game will be broadcast on the SEC Network.
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