Mason Jones and Jimmy Whitt, Jr., combined for 56 points and will get the biggest headlines, but Reggie Chaney made a difference in an 82-78 win over Alabama in Tuscaloosa on Saturday night.
Chaney’s effort was eye-catching because he got more rebounds (11) than points (8).
“We’ve kind of been waiting on that,” Eric Musselman said later. “That’s a big job inside that we need somebody to step up and he did that tonight.”
Chaney had five offensive rebounds and six defensive boards.
“Reggie was phenomenal,” Musselman said.
After a loss to South Carolina at Bud Walton Arena on Wednesday night, the Razorbacks came out of the gate on the road and promptly got down 12-0.
At that point a lot of fans were probably throwing their hands up in disgust. Then the Crimson Tide started turning the ball over and the Hogs didn’t give up.
“It was not an easy week,” Musselman said. “We kind of had to fight through some adversity, but a really really gutty performance by our guys.”
For a team that was never going to dominate a game with rebounding, the win over Alabama worked out because the Hogs won the turnover battle and scored 27 points off the Tide’s 17.
“When you look at turnover points, 27 is a huge number,” Musselman said.
In the second half, though, Arkansas took a lead on a 3-pointer by Jalen Harris with 2:34 to play at 74-69 and from there it was a matter of hitting enough free throws under Musselman’s bleed-the-clock style near the end.
Jones led all scorers with 30 points and Whitt added 26.
“We played with great pace, scoring 46 points,” Musselman said of the second half. “We just did a phenomenal job of getting defensive stops when we needed to. You know, it’s never easy to win on the road.”
The Hogs, now 16-5 on the season and 4-4 in the SEC, come back home with a big test against 17th-ranked Auburn on Tuesday night.
The game will tip-off at 6 p.m. and you can hear the game online at HitThatLine.com and on the radio at ESPN Arkansas 95.3 in the River Valley, 96.3 in Hot Springs and 104.3 in Harrison-Mountain Home.