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Notes on Hogs’ SEC Tournament-opening win over Mizzou

JD Notae has his best game at Arkansas, scoring 27 points, but none was bigger than his desperation bank shot in the lane with 1:19 left.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — JD Notae has his best game at Arkansas, scoring 27 points, but none was bigger than his desperation bank shot in the lane with 1:19 left.

The shot gave the lead to the eighth-ranked Razorbacks to a 70-64 victory over Missouri in the SEC quarterfinal Friday night at Bridgestone Arena.

The Hogs, the SEC second seed, won their 12th straight against an SEC opponent and improves to 22-5. The Razorbacks also improve to 15-2 all-time when playing in the SEC quarterfinal. Mizzou, the seventh seed, falls to 16-9.

Notae single-handedly kept Arkansas in the game by scoring 15 of the Hogs’ 32 points in the first half.

In particular, he scored 12 points during a 16-0 run as the Razorbacks went from down 10 (Missouri’s largest lead of the game) to up six. Also, Ethan Henderson gave Arkansas a huge lift in the first half to spark a comeback.

The second half belonged to Justin Smith, who scored 13 of his 16 points in the period and he pulled down all eight of his rebounds in the frame.

Moses Moody was held in check by the Tigers, scoring just five points. However, he tied Smith with eight rebounds, had a blocked shot and he took five charges.

Overall, Arkansas took nine charges to off-set tying its season-high by committing 20 turnovers.

Davonte Davis scored 11 points with six rebounds and four assists.

Xavier Pinson led the Tigers with 12 points and Dru Smith added 11. Kobe Brown led all players with 11 rebounds.

Arkansas will play fourth-seed LSU in the SEC semifinals on Saturday (Mar. 13). Tipoff is set for approximately 2:30 pm and the game will be televised on ESPN.

FIRST HALF: Arkansas 32 – Missouri 33

• Arkansas started slowly, making just 3 of its first 11 shots, but were only down two (6-4) at the first media timeout and five (14-9) at the second media timeout.

• Ethan Henderson provided a lift on both ends of the floor and the Hogs went on a 1-0 run to tie the contest at 23-23 and force a Mizzou timeout at 5:43.

• Coming out of the timeout, JD Notae hit two deep 3’s from the top of the key to cap a 16-0 run (making seven straight shots) to lead 29-23. Jeremih Tilmon ended a 5:06 scoring drought for the Tigers with a jumper at 4:12.

• Javon Puckett made a 3-pointer with 49 seconds left to put the Tigers up one (33-32) which was the halftime score.

• Ethan Henderson finished the half with two dunks and two blocked shots.

• JD Notae was the Razorbacks leader, scoring 15 of the team’s 32 first half points.

• Arkansas ended up shooting 46.2% from the field despite the slow start.

SECOND HALF: Arkansas 38 – Missouri 31

• The lead bounced back and forth early in the second half, but Arkansas used a 6-0 run over 2:14 to take a 46-44 lead with 11:42 left. Arkansas pushed it to a 7-0 run after a Smith free throw before Xavier Pinson tied the game (47-47) with three free throws (10:16).

• Arkansas had a 13-1 run (including an 8-0) run to lead by 10 (60-50).

• Xavier Pinson ended the run with a 3-pointer but JD Notae came right back with a triple for another 10-point cushion (63-53) with 3:40 left.

• Parker Braun hit two free throws and a 3-pointer to get to within five (63-58). Then Kobe Brown made two free throws to get the Tigers to within three (63-60) with 1:49 left.

• Notae threw in a shot in the lane with 1:19 to end the Tiger run and give Arkansas a five-point cushion. Notae then blocked a shot on the other end.

• Jalen Tate put Arkansas up six (68-62) by making two free throws with 24 seconds left. Davonte Davis only made 2-of-4 at the free throw line inside the final 16 seconds, but it was enough to provide the 70-64 final.

Game notes

• Arkansas is 6-4 this year when trailing at the half. Arkansas has won each of the last two games, trailing at the half in both. Arkansas also trailed Missouri at the half in a win over then Mizzou on Feb. 13. Arkansas has won five games during its win streak when trailing at the half, including three of the last four.

• Arkansas wins the rubber match with Missouri and this was the first time the two teams have faced each other in the SEC Tournament. Arkansas leads the Tigers 30-26 in the all-time series and is 2-0 versus the Tigers on a neutral court.

• Arkansas is now 28-27 in the SEC Tournament and 15-2 in the quarterfinal round. The Hogs will be in the SEC semifinal for the 15th time and the fourth time over the last eight years.

• Since the start of February, Arkansas is 9-0 with six NCAA NET Quad 1 wins.

• Arkansas’ 12-game win streak versus SEC opponents ties the program record. The 1993-94 team won 12 straight versus SEC opponents to close the regular-season and by winning its first game in the SEC Tournament.

• Eric Musselman is 4-0 all-tie as a college head coach in Bridgestone Arena, 2-0 in the SEC Tournament, 8-3 overall in conference tournaments and improves to 15-7 all-time in the postseason.

• Arkansas’ starting lineup was Jalen Tate (G) – Davonte Davis (G) – Moses Moody (G) – Justin Smith (F) – Connor Vanover (F) for the ninth consecutive game. The lineup is 9-0.

• Arkansas won the opening tip. Arkansas is 14-2 when controlling the tip.

• Missouri’s Kobe Brown scored the game’s first points, layup at 19:22. Arkansas is 7-2 when the opponent scores first. Jalen Tate scored Arkansas’ first points, a jumper in the lane at 17:20.

• JD Notae and Vance Jackson Jr., were the first subs for Arkansas.

• Ethan Henderson provided a huge lift off the bench in the first half. He made both of his shots, both dunks. Of his eight field goals made this year, five are dunks. He added two blocked shots.

• JD Notae’s 27 points are the fourth-best total of his career. He scored a career-high 40 as a sophomore at Jacksonville, 30 as a freshman at Jacksonville and 29 in his second-to-last game as a Dolphin as a sophomore.

• Justin Smith was 6-of-7 from the field in the second half, including two key put-backs – one with 6:44 left to put the Hogs up six and the second with 5:36 left to give Arkansas an eight-point lead.

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