Arkansas basketball: Hogs make improvements, survive second-half cold spell vs K-State

Eric Musselman and JD Notae, Arkansas Basketball (Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports)
Eric Musselman and JD Notae, Arkansas Basketball (Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) /
Arkansas basketball
Au’Diese Toney, Arkansas basketball (Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Arkansas basketball team looked fantastic in the first half on the road against Kansas State in game one of the Hall of Fame Classic.

The Razorbacks absolutely looked like the thirteenth-best team in college basketball in the first half.

But the Hogs went cold in the second half, scoring just one field goal in the final 6:29 of the game.

The team was able to escape with a 72-64 win over their Big 12 Conference opponent.

The Arkansas Basketball team made improvements

Going in to this game against the Wildcats, practically the entire free world knew the Razorbacks were abysmal at defending the three.

Musselman challenged his team to be better and the players responded, holding Kansas State to exactly zero made threes in the first half. In total, the Wildcats were held to 3-22 from beyond the arc. The problem for Arkansas was, they also shot 3-22 from beyond the arc.

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The Razorbacks finished with five players in double figures: Connor Vanover, Au’Diese Toney, JD Notae, Stanley Umude and Chris Lykes.

While the Hogs indeed went ice cold shooting the ball in the back part of the second-half, the did a great job making their free throws, especially down the stretch.

Perhaps Chris Lykes needs to be nicknamed “Sandman,” because he came in and closed out the game for the Razorbacks like Mariano Rivera did for the Yankees.

Lykes went 10 for 10 on his free throws in the final 1:47 of the game, to preserve victory for the Hogs.

Vanover and Lykes lead the team in scoring with 14 points each. Toney recorded the most rebounds tonight with 9 and Notae led all players with 5 assists tonight.

Arkansas improves to 4-0 on the season and will play in the Hall of Fame Classic championship game against Cincinnati Nov. 23 at 8:30 PM CT on ESPN2