FAYETTEVILLE – The covid-19 contact tracing afflicted Lipscomb University Bison looked predictably undermanned walloped, 86-50 by the Arkansas Razorbacks Saturday at Walton Arena.
Except that lopsided score is not what Arkansas Coach Eric Musselman predicted for his now 4-0 Razorbacks after Coach Lennie Acuff’s Bison had a strong University of Cincinnati team tied 29-29 at half and in the game late until running out of gas losing, 67-55.
“Obviously coming into the game it’s the same roster that Lipscomb had against Cincinnati,” Musselman said. “And they led through most of the game against Cincinnati. Cincinnati has a great team. Cincinnati has great toughness.”
And Acuff’s mid major Bisons, now 1-3, can be tough with a lead employing their patient, back cutting Princeton offense made famous by former Princeton Coach Pete Carril.
Acuff never got to try his patience Saturday.
Arkansas jumped to a 20-2 lead before the game was five minutes old.
“I thought we played really well,” Musselman said. “I thought our size really, really bothered them.”
Arkansas outrebounded Lipscomb, 54-32. In his 15 minutes, 7-3 Arkansas sophomore center Connor Vanover grabbed nine rebounds, blocked four shots and scored six points.
Moses Moody, Arkansas’ 6-6 freshman guard, scored a game-leading 18 points and grabbed eight boards in 24 minutes while starting forward Justin Smith logged nine points and 10 rebounds.
Off the bench, Arkansas guard J.D. Notae scored 12 points and forward Vance Jackson, 10 while freshman via Fort Smith Northside forward Jaylin Williams grabbed seven boards and scored six points in 18 minutes.
Offensively, Musselman said the Razorbacks performed unselfishly.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever had a team that made 237 passes in a game.” Musselman said. “I think we had 116 passes the first half. So we had great ball movement. We shared the ball. To hold a team to 25 percent from the field is phenomenal. Plus 22 on the backboard. We shot good from the field 50 percent. And we had 41 bench points. So I thought everyone who checked in did a good job.”
Ashan Asadullah, Lipscomb’s All-Atlantic Sun Conference 6-8 center and tallest player led Lipscomb scoring 10 but obviously was no factor.
““One of the keys to the game was containing Asadullah and not really letting him go to work down there,” Justin Smith, 6-7, said, “We work on our interior defense a lot. Sometimes if we play smaller lineups we’re going to have to not give away points at the rim, so walling up and staying vertical is something that we go over every day in practice.”
Asadullah had to cope with 7-3 Vanover, and Williams and Jackson both stand 6-10.
Moody, Musselman said, has emerged on the boards in addition to scoring 16, 11, 24 and 18 points for four games and making the layups these last two games he missed the first two.
“We talk to Moses about finishing around the rim because in Games 1 and 2 he left baskets miss on layups,” Musselman said. “He listens. I go out to practice and he’s already working on his layups. He worked on it, his shot selection is phenomenal. He’s unselfish. His rebounding, that is a huge factor for us for him to be second on the team in rebounds. He’s playing flawless basketball.”
Although Arkansas originally was to play a bigger name opponent Tuesday night on the road visiting the Tulsa Golden Hurricane, Moody said they indeed were totally locked in on Lipscomb.“Yeah, they’re a really good team given the way they played,” Moody said. “They try to slow it down and really try to execute their sets and their plays. The fact we were able to get out early made them not be able to slow down and made them have to speed their game up, so that definitely helped us.”Arkansas’ game with Tulsa has been postponed, the University of Tulsa announced Sunday, because of a positive covid-19 test on Tulsa’s team.No makeup date has been set according to the Tulsa announcement.