FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas made a good run at No. 6 Mississippi State Saturday, but the Bulldogs hit enough big shots to hold off the Razorbacks’ upset bid with a 77-70 victory.
The loss drops Arkansas to 11-11 overall and 3-8 in the Southeastern Conference. MSU is 21-1 and 10-1.
The Bulldogs jumped out to a quick 14-point lead, 24-10 and led 29-15 midway through the first period with 18 of those points coming on three-pointers, including four by Winsome Frazier.
MSU stretched the lead to 39-23, but Matt Jones and Jonathon Modica scored on layups, and Eric Ferguson canned a three-pointer to get the Razorbacks within 39-30. Branden Vincent’s layup pushed the margin back to 11, but Ronnie Brewer hit a three and UA trailed 41-33 at the half.
Mississippi State came close to breaking the game open in the second half, building an 18-point lead, 60-42, with 10:59 remaining on a Shane Power three-point play.
Modica scored eight straight points to cut the lead to 66-55, but Power hit a three to push the margin back to 14.
Down 73-61 with 3:40 left, Arkansas scored nine straight points, including five by Modica, to close within 73-70 with 1:59 to go.
Arkansas had chances to get closer but couldn’t score again and Frazier went four of four at the line the rest of the way for the final margin.
The Bulldogs shot 64 percent from the floor in the first half and 58 percent for the game (29-50) while Arkansas shot 44.3 percent. MSU also had a 36-23 rebounding advantage. Arkansas had 19 assists and only eight turnovers while forcing 17 turnovers.
Frazier led MSU with 23 points, hitting seven of 12 shots, including five of 10 threes. Lawrence Roberts had 19 points and 12 rebounds, Power 17 points and Timmy Bowers 10 points.
Modica led Arkansas with a career-high 33 points. He made 12 of 19 shots. Brewer had nine points and a season-high matching eight assists. Matt Jones had nine points, 10 rebounds, four assists and three steals.
The Razorbacks play at No. 8 Kentucky at 7 p.m. on Wednesday in a game televised by Jefferson-Pilot Sports.