Arkansas basketball: Hogs nearly upset by East Central in exhibition opener

Eric Musselman, Arkansas basketball (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Eric Musselman, Arkansas basketball (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

The Arkansas basketball team hosted East Central, a Division II team from Oklahoma, at Bud Walton Arena in the first exhibition game of the new season Oct. 24.

The Razorbacks, ranked number 16 in the AP Top 25 rankings, faced a hungry and eager Tigers team that would have loved nothing more to knock off a big school like Arkansas— and they very nearly did.

It’s probably a good thing this game was not featured on radio or television because a lot of fans would have been shocked to see that ECU would just not go away. In a game in which the Razorbacks should have won by 30+ points, they barely escaped with a win.

The final score in this one was Arkansas 77, East Central 74—a very close game. Let’s take a look and see what happened.

Statistics and analysis from Arkansas basketball vs East Central University

How were the Tigers able to stick so closely with the Hogs? A few things stand out from this game.

There were 14 lead changes in this game and seven ties throughout the game. Neither team was able to pull ahead by very much, with Arkansas’ biggest lead being 6 points.

At Halftime, Arkansas trailed their D2 opponent 35 to 37.

The Razorbacks had a very hard time connecting on three point shots and free throws. Arkansas was an abysmal 2 of 16 from beyond the three-point arc this afternoon (13%). Additionally, the Hogs only shot 59% from the free thrown line.

East Central did a great job of sharing the ball and involving all their teammates, recording 14 assists versus just nine for the Hogs.

The Hogs couldn’t score down the stretch, failing to record a field goal in the final minutes of the game. The last time Arkansas made a field goal was at the 3:21 mark remaining in the game and ECU took advantage.

With the Hogs up 71-69 and 1:22 left in the game, Notae attempted a step-back three point shot and missed. ECU got the rebound, executed a play and knocked down a three to go up 71-72 with 57 seconds left in the game.

Davonte Davis took control of the offense and raced down the court, drawing a foul to shoot two free throws. He made both clutch attempts, putting the Razorbacks up 73-72 with 50 seconds left in the game. A combined six free throws were made between the two teams in the final seconds of the game.

The final score of the game was 77-74, with the Razorbacks pulling off the win.

Here are some key stats from the game, according to the official stats kept by the Arkansas basketball team:


  • Stanley Umude: 2 points, 4 rebounds in 17 minutes
  • JD Notae: 17 points, 2 rebounds in 34 minutes
  • Davonte Davis: 20 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists (4 fouls) in 37 minutes
  • Au’Diese Toney: 10 points, 15 rebounds in 36 minutes
  • Jaylin Williams: 10 points 9 rebounds in 25 minutes


  • Chris Lykes: 13 points, 4 rebounds (4 fouls) in 27 minutes
  • Connor Vanover: 3 points 1 rebound, 1 assist in 5 minutes

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The Hogs will get one more dress rehearsal Oct. 30 vs North Texas before beginning their regular season, non-conference schedule.