AMES, Iowa (AP) – After falling behind early in hostile territory, the No. 18/21 Arkansas men’s basketball team fought back in the second half, but ultimately dropped its first game of the season to No. 20/19 Iowa State, 95-77 in front of a sell-out crowd of 14,384 at Hilton Coliseum.
Dustin Hogue scored 14 for the Cyclones (5-1), who led by as many as 23 points in extending their non-conference home winning streak to 24 games.
Iowa State’s fast-break offense overwhelmed the Razorbacks (6-1) from the opening tip. The Cyclones took their first double-digit lead less than six minutes in and led 52-32 at the break.
Bobby Portis scored 19 to lead the Razorbacks (6-1), who haven’t won a road game as a ranked team since 1999.
This was billed as potentially one of the highest-scoring games of the season. Arkansas entered ranked fourth nationally at 90 points per game, and Iowa State was averaging 83.4 points through five games.
The Razorbacks knew they were in trouble once they found themselves down 15 after 12 minutes — even though they were shooting 50 percent from the field.
Iowa State pushed the tempo better than it had all season, and the Arkansas defense appeared powerless to stop the Cyclones.
Iowa State went on a 13-0 run midway through the first half to go up 39-20, and Niang’s layup made it 48-26 with 2:26 left.
The Cyclones hit 18 of their first 28 shots — with assists on 13 of their made baskets — and nailed seven 3-pointers in the first 20 minutes.
Portis hit a few shots early to keep Arkansas briefly within striking distance, and its press defense caused Iowa State some issues in the second half.
But it was clear from the early stages that the Razorbacks were headed to their first loss of the season.
Alandise Harris had 15 points for Arkansas, which never got within single digits in the second half.
@RazorbackMBB Quick Hits
• Arkansas entered with a national-best 20.7 assists per game and passed out 22.
• Just the second time in coach Anderson’s career he’s lost a game with 20+ assists (84-2).
• Portis and Qualls have each reached double figures a team-best six times on the year.
• Portis’ 19 points came on 8-of-10 from the floor and included a team-high rebounds.
• Portis hit both three-point attempts and is now 7-of-8 from long range on the year.
• Harris’ 15 are a season-high as he now sits just two points shy of 1,000 for his career (Arkansas & Houston).
• The double figure game was the 50th of Harris’ career.
• Madden has passed out at least five assists in all but one game this season.
• Madden has led the team in assists five straight games and six times on the year.
• Watkins set career-bests for rebounds (6) and assists (5) while coming away with four steals.
• Watkins leads Arkansas with 18 steals on the year, including one in each game.
Coach Anderson Postgame Sound
“I thought Iowa State was a step ahead of us in the first half and for that to happen for 20 minutes that’s too big of a hole to get into. Our guys showed some fight in the second half, which I’m pleased with, but on the road you have to be ready to play for 40 minutes.”
No. 18 Arkansas will play its third true road game of the season on Sunday when it heads to ACC foe Clemson. The game is the second part of a home-and-home with the Tigers after the Razorbacks were victorious at Bud Walton Arena last year. It will mark the first time since 1999-2000 that Arkansas has played two ACC teams in the same season after defeating Wake Forest, 83-63, on Nov. 19. Tip is slated for 4 p.m. CT on ESPNU.