The Arkansas Razorbacks survived a late rally, holding off the Northern Kentucky Norse for a 66-60 victory on Saturday in Fayetteville, Ark.
With 8:49 left in regulation, Arkansas (7-0) held a 55-43 lead thanks to its suffocating defense. However, Northern Kentucky (5-3) responded with its own display of dynamic defense to limit Arkansas to six points in the next 8 minutes, 20 seconds. Northern Kentucky pulled within three points at 61-58 with 29 seconds left.
The lead was narrowed to 62-60, but Arkansas’ Adrio Bailey hit two clutch free throws with 11 seconds left to give the Razorbacks a 64-60 lead. Northern Kentucky missed a 3 on its next possession, and the Hogs survived a stiff challenge offered by their opponent from the Horizon League.
Northern Kentucky, when trailing by 12 in the latter stages of the second half, relied on its defense to rally, but the Norse needed some offense as well. NKU’s Trevon Faulkner scored six points in under three minutes to trim Arkansas’ lead to 57-53 with 5:42 to go. Faulkner finished with 14 points.
Before NKU mounted its late rally, Arkansas built a working margin that enabled the Hogs to survive.
With 13:49 left, Arkansas held a tenuous 40-38 lead. The Razorbacks outscored Northern Kentucky by a 15-5 margin in the next five minutes to create a 55-43 advantage. Twice, Northern Kentucky defenders fouled Arkansas shooters on 3-point shots. Twice, Arkansas hit all three free throws to build a cushion.
Jimmy Whitt led Arkansas with 24 points on 9-for-15 shooting. Whitt also made 6 of 7 free throws and added nine rebounds and two assists. Desi Sills added 17 points. Reggie Chaney grabbed 11 rebounds and dished out five assists for the Hogs.
Dantez Walton led all scorers with 30 points for Northern Kentucky. He also collected 10 rebounds.
—Field Level Media