Sun December 17, 2023

By Lance Hawley

Hogs Slip Past Lipscomb
By Otis Kirk

FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas jumped out to what appeared to be a comfortable lead, but then had to hang on to defeat Lipscomb 69-66 in Simmons Bank Arena in North Little Rock.

The Razorbacks held a 61-41 lead with 10:46 remaining in the game and appeared set to cruise to the win. But Lipscomb outscored the Hogs 25-8 the remainder of the game and provided a scare for the Razorback fans in attendance. Eric Musselman talked about the win afterward.

"First of all, in the past we’ve done a really good job of milking the shot clock when we get up like that," Musselman said. "A lot of people don’t understand it. Tonight’s a great example of why you do it.

"I let them play. Should have clock-managed better. Again, you think with a veteran team you’ll be able to get good shots on goal. That wasn’t the case tonight. Got to get a lot better in so many areas."

Musselman was asked if he was at least relieved to get a win where his team has lost at times?

"I just know we’ve got a lot of work [to do]," Musselman said. "I’d be not telling the truth if I said I was relieved. I’m disappointed."

Arkansas shot 53% from the field. They also held Lipscomb to 39% from the field just 23% from behind the 3-point line (7-30). Musselman talked about what was making him feel well about the game when up by 20 points.

"I thought the ball was moving," Musselman said. "I thought we were playing with good pace. You have to respect a scrappy team like Lipscomb. You have to respect them every possession. I thought we got careless with the ball. Shot selection. Have to look at plus-minuses tonight. Have to go back and evaluate the film when they made their run. So, there's a lot of things we have to do."

Musselman played 13 players on Saturday though El Ellis only played for one minute and Joseph Pinion started but only played two minutes.

"Well, normally people are telling us we need to play more," Musselman said. "Now we're playing more and we're getting asked questions should we play less. We're trying to figure out who we are. Plain and simple. We're trying to figure out who we can rely on on a nightly basis. Who plays with consistency? Who can react to loose balls? Who can defensive rebound? Who can keep the ball in front of them? There's a lot of things we are searching for."

Tramon Mark topped the Hogs with 17 points and had three rebounds and a trio of assists. Jalen Graham added 11 points while Makhi Mitchell had 12 points and five rebounds. Trevon Brazile had six points, half dozen rebounds and an assist. Musselman was asked if he needs Brazile to be more asserive?

"We'd like to be more assertive all the way around with a bunch of guys to be honest with you," Musselman said.

Sophomore guard Keyon Menifield was ruled eligible this week so he played for the first time this season. He finished with two points, three rebounds and a pair of assists.

"I thought it was important to get him in the game," Musselman said. "The plan was to play him somewhere between 15 and 20 minutes, and he got 18.

"He’s active, he’s bouncy. He is a reactor to loose balls. It’s hard to be thrown into a game 10 games in. But I think his quickness, his willingness to be a ball distributor can help us."

Arkansas (7-4) will now host Abilene Christian on Thursday night with a 6 p.m. tip time in Bud Walton Arena. Abilene Christian (4-6) will take on UTEP Sunday before heading to Arkansas.

Photos Courtesy of Craven Whitlow CW3 Sports Action