January 5, 2020 / 2:27 AM / 18 days ago

Balanced attack leads Arkansas past Texas A&M in SEC opener

Four starters scored in double figures Saturday night as Arkansas stopped Texas A&M 69-59 in each team’s Southeastern Conference opener at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville, Ark.

Mason Jones and Isaiah Joe each scored 17 points for the Razorbacks (12-1, 1-0), combining to go 9 of 23 on 3-pointers. Desi Sills added 13 points and Jimmy Whitt tallied 12 as Arkansas continued its impressive start under first-year coach Eric Musselman.

The Aggies (6-6, 0-1), meanwhile, continued to struggle offensively under first-year coach Buzz Williams. While they made 46.7 percent of their field goals, they also committed 17 turnovers that led to 17 points and also enabled the Razorbacks to try 13 more shots.

Freshman Andre Gordon scored 15 points for Texas A&M, while Wendell Mitchell added 13 but made just 3 of 10 attempts from the field. Josh Nebo contributed 10 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, allowing the Aggies to earn a 34-27 advantage on the glass.

Arkansas led the entire second half, although Texas A&M closed within 52-50 on Gordon’s layup with 9:01 left. But the Aggies managed just nine points for the game’s remainder, none in the last 3:36. They entered the night at 349th of 353 Division I teams in scoring at just under 60 ppg.

Neither team led by more than four points in the first 18-plus minutes of the game. It took more than seven minutes before the under-16 TV timeout was used as the teams established a good pace, even though they struggled to hit shots.

Texas A&M led for most of the first 10 minutes, but Arkansas was able to carve out a 24-20 edge when Sills made three foul shots with 7:25 left. The Aggies rallied for a 30-30 tie on Quenton Jackson’s 3-pointer with 2:46 remaining.

However, the Razorbacks finished the half with a 12-3 spurt, using the 3-point line as their main weapon. They made three in that span, including one by Sills with two seconds on the clock for a 42-33 advantage at intermission.

—Field Level Media

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