Arkansas looks to continue its late-season push to make the NCAA Tournament when it hosts Georgia in Southeastern Conference play on Tuesday in Fayetteville, Ark.
The Razorbacks (18-9, 7-7 SEC) have won four of their past six games after an 84-65 victory over visiting Florida on Saturday. Georgia (16-11, 6-8) is coming off its most lopsided loss of the season, a 108-59 throttling at then-No. 1 Alabama later that day.
Arkansas, which has reached the NCAA tourney’s Elite Eight in each of the past two seasons, likely can’t afford a loss to the Bulldogs, who have dropped four of their past six games.
The Razorbacks have plenty of opportunities to impress the NCAA Tournament selection committee; Arkansas closes the regular season against No. 2 Alabama, No. 11 Tennessee and Kentucky before the SEC tournament.
Arkansas played one of its best games of the season against the Gators.
Jalen Graham scored a career-high 26 points to go along with seven rebounds, while Makhi Mitchell had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Ricky Council IV had 15 points with Anthony Black chipping in 14 and Nick Smith Jr. adding 10.
Leading by six at halftime, the Razorbacks put the game away by opening the second half on a 17-2 run to take a 54-33 lead following Graham’s dunk with 14:12 to play.
“I thought we were flying around and we were diving on the floor getting loose balls,” Arkansas coach Eric Musselman said. “The guys were having fun, they were competing. I think it is really important and now the level of maturity coming back and understanding how well Georgia has played and how improved they are.
“We have a lot of things to go through in a short amount of time to get ready for Georgia.”
The Bulldogs have a lot of areas they need to improve after getting routed by the Crimson Tide.
Georgia trailed 15-4 early and fell behind 30-8 with 13:32 left in the first half.
The Crimson Tide, who led 54-25 at halftime, put the game away by opening the second half with a 12-2 run to take a 66-27 advantage.
Justin Hill led the Bulldogs with 17 points. Terry Roberts added 11, and Braelen Bridges finished with 10 points and eight rebounds.
“We looked rattled from the opening tip,” Georgia coach Mike White said. “That was as good of an offensive team as I’ve seen in our league. We’ve just got to compete at a higher level. We have opportunities in front of us, all we can control is the next one.”
–Field Level Media