COLLEGE STATION, Texas –
Limited to a season-low 53 points, the Arkansas men’s basketball team fell 69-53 at Texas A&M Wednesday night in the SEC opener for both teams at Reed Arena.
The loss snaps a seven-game win streak for the Razorbacks, as they slip to 11-3 on the season while the Aggies improve to 10-4. Arkansas will now turn its attention to Saturday’s SEC home opener against No. 10 Florida.
Arkansas trailed at the half for the first time in seven games and couldn’t find its rhythm at the offensive end where it entered the game averaging an SEC-best 87.2 points per game. In the second half, the Razorbacks finished with a season-low 20 points, connecting on just 7-of-26 from the field en route to a 36 percent clip (21-58) for the game.
Junior Rashad Madden
was the only Razorback in double figures with on an efficient 12 points on 4-of-6 from the field for his ninth double figure outing of the year. Senior Coty Clarke
nearly joined Madden in double-digits and fell a point shy of a double-double with nine points and a game-high 10 boards.
Texas A&M, who became the first team in the last 17 games to win the turnover battle against Arkansas, produced three double figure scorers led by Davonte Fitzgerald’s 17 points off the bench. Senior Fabyon Harris scored 15 points while junior Jamal Jones had 14 points and eight rebounds. Sophomore Alex Caruso was a major factor in the Aggies win the turnover battle, as he had 11 assists and four steals.
Trailing by four, 43-39, with 13 minutes to play, Arkansas missed a pair of free throws to cut it to a one-possession game and the Aggies countered with an 8-0 run in a span of 1:22 that quickly ballooned the lead to 51-39. The double figure lead was whittled down to seven, 51-44, with just over eight minutes remaining, but Texas A&M regained its double figure lead for a majority of the final seven minutes as Arkansas scored just nine points over that span.
“We know that when we’re on the road we need to be at our best and tonight we weren’t,” said head coach Mike Anderson
. “Give credit to Texas A&M because they got the game to their pace and that disrupted us. I thought we played hard, but we didn’t finish a lot of things around the rim. We’ve got until midnight to think about this and then it’s time to turn the page and get ready for Florida”
Reigning SEC Freshman of the Week Bobby Portis
finished with seven points, seven rebounds, three assists and two blocks. Also playing in his first SEC contest, redshirt junior Alandise Harris
, a transfer from Houston, turned in eight points off the bench as did sophomore Anthlon Bell
, as the duo combined for 16 of the 20 points off the pine.
The Razorbacks carry a 23-game home win streak into Saturday’s meeting with Florida at Bud Walton Arena, good for a tie for the third-longest streak in the nation, and haven’t trailed at home in the last 155:55 of game action. Tip is slated for 12:05 p.m. on ESPN2 with Mark Jones and Jimmy Dykes on the call.