FAYETTEVILLE – For the first time this season, Arkansas trailed at halftime (40-30) but it out-scored Oral Roberts 57-36 in the second half to secure an 87-76 victory Sunday afternoon at Bud Walton Arena.
Justin Smith and Desi Sills each posted double-doubles in the win and each had career highs in rebounds.
Smith led all players with 22 points – two shy of his career high – and pulled down a game-high 17 rebounds. Smith hauled in 10 offensive rebounds as the Razorbacks had 24 offensive boards and out-rebounded the Golden Eagles, 58-32, overall. Smith posted his fifth career double-double – first as a Razorback – and his 17 boards is the most by a Razorback since Mike Washington had 18 versus Florida in the 2009 SEC Tournament.
Sills, a preseason All-SEC pick, grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds with 16 points for his first career double-double.
Arkansas scored the first six points of the game to force a quick ORU timeout. The Golden Eagles responded with a 12-4 run to lead 12-10. ORU’s Kevin Obanor hit a jumper at 10:18 gave ORU a 14-13 lead and the Eagles maintained the advantage until midway through the second half.
Obanor scored to open the second half to ORU to tie its largest lead of 12 (42-30). From that point, Arkansas went on a 19-6 run – including a 10-0 spurt – to take a 49-48 lead with 12:49 left. However, ORU responded with a 7-2 run to grab a four-point cushion (55-51) with 11:34 to go. An 8-0 run by the Hogs was answered with a 7-3 run by ORU ad the game was tied 62-62 with 8:23 remaining.
Arkansas raced out to a six-point lead and out-scored the Golden Eagles 19-6 over the next 4:33 to lead by nine. ORU go to within six with 1:24 left before Arkansas scored the final five points of the game for the 11-point win.
Moses Moody added 18 points and seven rebounds while JD Notae had 15 points and a career-high three blocked shots with three assists.
Obanor also had a double-double in the game with 21 points and 10 rebounds. RJ Glasper added 14 points, Kareem Thompson 13 and Max Abmas 11.
Arkansas returns to Nolan Richardson Court on Tuesday (Dec. 22) versus Abilene Christian. Tipoff is set for 4:00 pm and the game will be telecast on SEC Network.
FIRST HALF: Arkansas 30 – Oral Roberts 40
- Arkansas scored the first six points of the game, but Oral Roberts controlled the first half.
- The Razorbacks trailed for the first time this year at halftime.
- Arkansas missed its first 11 3-point attempts and was just 2-of-16 from deep for the half. Connor Vanover made the Razorbacks’ first triple at 7:16.
- Arkansas dominated on the board, holding a 32-19 advantage with 15 offensive boards. Justin Smith had eight boards and Desi Sills seven.
- Smith led the Hogs with nine first half points.
- Kevin Obanor led ORU with 12 points. The Golden Eagles shot 40% from the field.
SECOND HALF: Arkansas 57 – Oral Roberts 36
- ORU scored the first in the second half before Arkansas went on a 17-6 run, including an 10-0 spurt. Notae hit a fast-break layup to cap the run at 12:49 to give Arkansas its first lead, 49-48, since early in the first half.
- ORU briefly regained the lead, 55-51, but an 8-0 put the Razorbacks back on top for good. With 10:00 to go.
- Arkansas shot 54.1% from the field in the second half while holding ORU to 39.3%.
- Arkansas committed nine first-half turnovers with just six in the second. Defensively, ORU only had three first-half turnovers but Arkansas forced 10 in the second.
- Arkansas was much more aggressive in the second half. The Hogs were just 4-of-7 from the free throw line in the first half but were 15-of-20 in the second half.
- Arkansas won for the first time when trailing by double-digits at halftime since the Razorbacks trailed UT Arlington by 11 on Nov. 18, 2016, and won by four.
- Arkansas’ starting lineup was Jalen Tate (G) – Desi Sills (G) – Moses Moody (G) – Justin Smith (F) – Connor Vanover (F) for the sixth straight game.
- For the first time this year, Arkansas did control the tip.
- Moses Moody scored the game’s first points, a jumper in the lane at 18:48.
- JD Notae was the first sub for Arkansas.
- Arkansas’ 58 rebounds tied for the most this year and the most by Arkansas under head coach Eric Musselman.
- Arkansas’ 24 offensive rebounds are the most this season, the most by Arkansas under Musselman and the second-most by a Musselman-coached college team.
- ORU entered the game third in the NCAA in 3-pointers made (12.7) but were held to just eight.
- Arkansas held ORU to 28.6% from 3-point range. Arkansas, who led the NCAA in 3-point FG% last season, has held an opponent to below 29% from long range in 23 of Musselman’s 39 games as Arkansas head coach.
- Justin Smith is the first Razorback with at least 22 points and 17 rebounds since Nick Davis had 22 points and 23 boards on Nov. 21, 1997 versus Jackson State.
- Justin Smith only needs 83 points for 1,000 and 31 rebounds for 500.
- Justin Smith’s previous rebound high was 12 on two occasions. His nine FG and 20 FG attempts as both career highs.
- Desi Sills’ previous rebound high was seven.
- Moses Moody is the only Razorback to score double-digits in all seven games.
- Moses Moody had posted at least 15 points and seven rebounds in four of the last five games.
- Eric Musselman is the only Razorback coach to start 7-0 in each of his first two years. Eugene Lambert was 10-0 in his first year (1942-43) and 5-0 in year two (1943-44).
- Arkansas is 7-0 to start for the second straight year. Arkansas started 8-0 last year. The last time Arkansas started at least 7-0 in back-to-back years was 1992-93 (8-0) and 1993-94 (10-0).
- Arkansas scored at least 50 in a half for the fourth time (twice versus Mississippi Valley and once versus UCA).
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