FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — And down went the Aggies.
The Arkansas men’s basketball team defeated No. 5 Texas A&M on Wednesday night by a score of 74-71, as the Razorbacks handed the Aggies their first loss in SEC play. The three-headed monster of Moses Kingsley, Anthlon Bell and Dusty Hannahs combined for 52 points, while the Arkansas defense forced 21 turnovers in the victory.
Kingsley secured his second-consecutive double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds, including five on the offensive glass. The Razorbacks assisted on 17 of their 25 baskets, while Bell and Hannahs combined to go 6-for-14 from the Splash Zone.
Even though Arkansas was coming off consecutive losses, it didn’t look like it at all early on. Bell came out of the gate on fire, with a three-pointer in the first possession of the game and seven points in the first 3:28. The Aggies didn’t lead at all in the first half, as the Razorbacks led for 17:21 and carried a 40-33 advantage into the break.
But just as a strong team does, Texas A&M punched back, taking a 47-46 lead six minutes into the second frame for its first lead of the contest. Arkansas came back the very next possession and regained the lead on a Kingsley offensive rebound and put-back.
The Aggies led on three different occasions but the Razorbacks responded with a bucket on the following possession every time, never allowing the visitors to gain any momentum.
With Arkansas ahead 67-64 late and three seconds on the shot clock, Hannahs took an in-bounds pass from Jabril Durham and hit an off-balance jumper to put the Razorbacks ahead by five. The Aggies cut the lead down to one with seven seconds remaining, but back-to-back foul shots by Hannahs and a missed Texas A&M trey at the buzzer gave the BWA fans a win.
“We have some character guys who haven’t wavered in any moment. They’re trying to see it through my eyes, so it’s good to see these guys be rewarded for staying true to each other. This is a team win.” — Head coach Mike Anderson
“We just wanted to come out and do what we had to do to win. We made them uncomfortable. At Texas A&M, they did whatever they wanted. We were playing their game. Tonight, we just wanted to push the ball anytime we could and get easy buckets.” — Senior guard Anthlon Bell
“I know close games are painful to watch, but they’re even more painful to be a part of when you come up so short. To be able to come out here and be the team to beat Texas A&M, it really helps everybody. We’re just going to use this to propel us forward.” — Junior guard Dusty Hannahs
• The Razorbacks have won consecutive games in Bud Walton Arena against Associated Press top five opponents after defeating No. 2 Florida on Feb. 5, 2013.
• Arkansas is now 7-3 against Associated Press top five opponents in Bud Walton Arena.
• Unranked Arkansas teams are 33-28 all-time against Associated Press ranked opponents in Fayetteville, including 30-20 in Bud Walton Arena and 6-4 under Mike Anderson (via @HogStats).
• With 18 points, Moses Kingsley has scored in double figures in all 20 games this season.
• Kingsley became the eighth Power Five Conference player in the country to record 10 double-doubles on the season.
• Kingsley led the team in rebounds (11), while Jabril Durham led the team in assists (7), each for the 19th time this season.
• Anthlon Bell has hit a three-pointer in all 20 games this season.
• The Razorbacks have hit eight-plus threes in six games this season, including four times in their last six games.
• Arkansas won its second game of the season decided by five or fewer points.
• The Razorbacks blocked seven shots in the game, two from Kingsley and a career-high four by Keaton Miles. Kingsley had two-plus rejections for the sixth-consecutive contest.
Arkansas goes right back to work Saturday, hosting Texas Tech as part of the Big12/SEC Challenge. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m. CT in Bud Walton Arena; the game will be broadcast on ESPNU.