INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A cold stretch from the floor in the second half ended Arkansas’ run in the NCAA Tournament with an 81-72 loss to top-seeded Baylor on Monday night in the South Regional final inside Lucas Oil Stadium.
After a slow start to the game put the Razorbacks in a 7-0 hole, the Razorbacks made one of the team’s characteristic runs to claw back into the game and trail 46-38 at the break. The Hogs’ run was spurred by the team shooting 62.5% from the field in the opening half, including going 3-for-4 from 3-point range. The second half, however, was a different story.
Arkansas closed within four points with just over nine minutes remaining in the game on a Moses Moody layup. Moody’s bucket made it 62-58 Baylor but it was the last shot the Hogs made until a Justin Smith layup with 1:19 left on the clock. The Razorbacks’ cold stretch from the floor lasted for over eight minutes with the team going 0-for-12. The Hogs stayed in the game from the free throw line but a MaCio Teague 3-pointer with just under four minutes left put the Bears up nine. A minute later, a Mark Vital tip-in dunk put the game out of reach.
The Razorbacks’ struggles from the floor in the second half were evident, as the team went 11-for-30 (36.7%) from the field and 0-for-7 from beyond the arc. The Hogs’ turnovers also proved costly with Baylor converting 15 Arkansas turnovers into 21 points.
Davonte Davis and JD Notae led four Razorbacks in double digits with 14 points apiece. Notae’s 14 points came despite fouling out early in the second half, he poured in 12 in the first half on 4-of-5 shooting off the bench. Moses Moody added 11 points and Justin Smith scored 10 to go along with six rebounds.
Teague led all scorers with 22 points, including three 3-pointers.
Arkansas ends Head Coach Eric Musselman’s second season at Arkansas 25-7 with the program’s deepest run in the NCAA Tournament since 1996.
Check back later for a full recap along with reactions from Coach Musselman and student-athletes.