Arkansas is hungry. They want it and they want it bad.
What is “it” exactly? It’s easy; they just want to win. They finally have that winning mentality that Arkansas basketball has lacked for several years.
Arkansas ran over Ole Miss Wednesday night in Bud Walton Arena. The final score was 110-80 but it wasn’t that close. With 12:01 remaining in the game the Hogs led 90-47. Yes, they had a 43-point lead with 12 minutes left in the game.
Mike Anderson pulled the starters early in the second half, which is the reason the score makes it look like a closer game than it actually was.
Anthlon Bell led the Razorbacks with a career-high 23 points, including seven threes. He is getting hot at the right time. We’ve been waiting for him to get hot since the team returned from Maui but he couldn’t have chosen a better time.
Mardracus Wade went out right on his senior night as he poured in 18 points and was 5-of-7 from long range. This is the same Mardracus Wade who had a few DNP’s earlier in the season. Like Bell, Wade is getting hot at the right time as well and putting in productive minutes.
Senior Coty Clarke ended his last home game with 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting. Alandise Harris also had 13 points in 13 minutes.
Arkansas shot 48.1 percent (37-77) from field the field and 56.7 percent (17-30) from behind the arc. They were hot. The 17 threes tied Arkansas record for most three pointers made in an SEC game.
Most impressive, Arkansas recorded 27 assists on 37 field goals. I’m sure that was Anderson’s favorite stat of the night.
Not only did they get things done on the offensive end, they turned up the heat on the defensive end. Arkansas forced 18 turnovers and had five steals. They held Marshall Henderson to 15 points in 29 minutes. Jarvis Summers had only 11.
This game was what Arkansas basketball really is all about. If fans were excited before this game, they are on a whole other level right now. Last night, this team played like it was 1994 in Bud Walton.
Credit to Mike Anderson, when the team was 2-6 in SEC play he stuck with them and made them believe and here they are 10-7 in the conference and looking to play in the NCAA tournament.Once Arkansas got the road win at Vanderbilt, that’s when things changed. All the pressure of them not being able to win a road game disappeared and they became a whole new team.
Arkansas will travel to Alabama Saturday to take on the Crimson Tide and Trevor Releford on his senior day. Could be an interesting game. But, if Arkansas continues to play like they did Wednesday night, there isn’t a team that will beat them.
There’s still a lot of basketball left and Arkansas can’t get too cocky yet. But, this team has won eight of their last nine games and only lost by one point. Watch out, they’re deadly right now.