Winners of three straight games, the Arkansas men’s basketball team has its hands full on Saturday afternoon when it welcomes the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks to Bud Walton Arena for a 3 p.m. tipoff.
Arkansas (5-5) moved their record to an even .500 with a sound 76-51 victory over Alabama State on Wednesday night. Razorback head coach John Pelphrey admitted after the contest that he thought Arkansas played sloppy at times, but some of that could have been the eight-day layoff from competition due to finals. With a game under their belts, the Razorbacks should be ready to play on Saturday.
Stephen F. Austin (6-2) is on a roll as they come to Bud Walton Arena with a four-game winning streak. The Lumberjacks however are in the midst of finals themselves and have not played a game since Dec. 12. In fact Stephen F. Austin comes into Saturday’s contest having played just one time in the last 13 days. Stephen F. Austin has victories this season against Jackson State, Huston-Tillotson, Southern and Cal St. Fullerton while its two losses have come to the Minnesota Golden Gophers and Texas Tech Red Raiders.
What worked for the Razorbacks in their victory against Alabama State may not be as effective against Stephen F. Austin. Mike Washington was dominant down low with 22 points and Arkansas exploited a height advantage it had against the Hornets. The Lumberjacks are a considerably larger team with three of their five starters 6-5 or taller. The Razorbacks may have to rely on their athleticism or long-range game to secure a victory and earn their fourth win in a row.
The Arkansas-Stephen F. Austin game will be broadcast courtesy of the Razorback Sports Network from ISP across the state with Scott Inman and former Razorback Blake Eddins providing the on-air talent. The contest can also be heard on radio across the state of Arkansas on the Razorback Sports Network with Mike Nail and Rick Schaeffer giving the calls. Nail is in his 29th and final season as the play-by-play voice of the Razorbacks.
Looking past the Stephen F. Austin contest, Arkansas hosts Missouri State at Bud Walton Arena on Tuesday, Dec. 22, before taking a small break for the holidays and then playing Baylor at Verizon Arena in Little Rock on Dec. 30.