LAS VEGAS – The University of Arkansas basketball team came up short against Arizona State in the third game of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational with the Sun Devils taking the victory 83-68, handing the Razorbacks their first loss of the season. Guard BJ Young led the Razorbacks on the court with 29 points and three rebounds in the sophomore’s 30th double-digit scoring game of his career.
Sophomore guard Rashad Madden and sophomore forward Hunter Mickelson also recorded double-digit scoring games with 11 and 10 points respectively. Madden also recorded eight boards and three assists leading the Hogs.
Arkansas (3-1) was unable to get into its signature style of play “The Fastest 40 Minutes in Basketball” in the second half as fouls and turnovers limited the Razorbacks ability to wear down its opponents. When Arkansas was able to get the pace to their liking, midway through the first half, it erased a small deficit and built a lead.
“I thought that this was a game of halves,” Razorback head coach Mike Anderson said. “We established the tempo in the first half and had good rhythm, but they seized it right before the hand and we could never get it back. You have to give Arizona State credit, they answered the call, but we didn’t do the things that were necessary for us to win.”
After ASU took an early lead to start the game, Arkansas kept pace with the Sun Devils to take the lead 27-25 with a two-point jumper from Madden with 6:04 remaining in the first. Arkansas was able to put together a 7-2 run shortly thereafter that started with a layup by Young with 5:53 remaining in the first to extend their lead to 32-28. However, the Hogs would only hold onto the lead until the final seconds of the first half when ASU hit a jumper to take the lead 43-41 going into the locker room.
Leading the Razorbacks on the court in the first was Young with 16 points and one rebound. Madden had a standout first half with eight points and two rebounds. Freshman guard Michael Qualls led the Razorbacks with four rebounds in the first.
In total, Arkansas was out-rebounded 17-12 in the first half. However, the Hogs were able to capitalize on the eight Sun Devil turnovers, scoring 10 points off ASU errors and holding ASU to just five points off Arkansas turnovers.
To start the second half ASU went on a 13-5 run to put it up 56-46 with 15:49 left in the game. Arkansas would grab consecutive layups by Young to close the score to 56-50 with 14:36 remaining. That would be the closest Arizona State would allow Arkansas to get to the lead as the Sun Devils would break away again grabbing their largest lead at the 1:12 mark in the second, 81-63.
The Razorbacks return to the court Saturday to face the loser of the Wisconsin vs. Creighton game being contested late Friday night. Arkansas’ game at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas can be viewed online on ESPN3 at 7 p.m. CT.
For more information regarding Razorback men’s basketball or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.