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OPINION | WALLY HALL: Ugly win for Razorbacks always better than pretty loss

It may not have been the ugliest game in Southeastern Conference history, but if the SEC kept records for games that were far more defensive than offensive, the Arkansas Razorbacks' 58-48 win over Tennessee might make the top 10.

In the final 5:17 on Saturday, the Razorbacks had zero field goals, but they made five of six free throws while holding the Vols to just six points.

Arkansas’ biggest lead of the game came with six seconds to play.

It was a game that saw three ties and 12 lead changes, despite the fact the teams were shooting like they were playing on an asphalt court in Alaska.

Tennessee made 16 of 59 field goal attempts, or 27.1%. Arkansas was 18 of 59 for 30.5%.

From behind the arc, the Vols were 4-24, 16.7%, and the Razorbacks were 5-22, 22.7%.

The low percentages weren’t all bad shooting — although the Hogs did miss six layups. Both teams played defense every second. They contested every pass and every dribble.

In the end, the Razorbacks did what they do best: Force turnovers (15) and outscore the visitors off mistakes (13-2).

It was a huge win for the Razorbacks, who are No. 30 in the NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET) ranking. Tennessee is No. 10.

From start to finish, Razorbacks head coach Eric Musselman and Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes matched wits using a variety of defenses and offenses. But the Hogs found a way to win, something they have become good at since their loss to Texas A&M on Jan. 8.

Arkansas and Tennessee, now tied for third in the SEC, will meet again on March 5 in the regular season finale in Knoxville.

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