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Sigh of relief: Hogs open early lead, hang on in OT against Aggies

by Bob Holt | January 23, 2022 at 2:56 a.m.
Arkansas guard Stanley Umude (left) shoots as Texas Arlington’s Andre Gordon defends during the first half Saturday at Walton Arena in Fayetteville. Umude finished with 15 points and seven rebounds as the Razorbacks won 76-73 in overtime. More photos at (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Charlie Kaijo)

FAYETTEVILLE - The Arkansas Razorbacks got their payback against Texas A&M.

But it took working overtime.

The Razorbacks held on to beat Aggies 76-73 in overtime when Hassan Diarra's three-point attempt barely grazed the front of the basket as time expired.

The University of Arkansas (14-5, 4-3 SEC) won its fourth consecutive game since losing at Texas A&M 86-81 two weeks ago.

"I thought we had a lot of guys make big plays," Razorbacks Coach Eric Musselman said.

Among the biggest plays was Davonte "Devo" Davis being able to avoid being fouled when he caught the inbound pass from under the Razorbacks' basket with 5.5 seconds left in overtime, then got the ball ahead to Stanley Umude for a dunk that gave Arkansas a 76-73 lead with 0.9 seconds left.

Umude, a senior guard who had 15 points and 7 rebounds in 43 minutes, said that when he caught the long pass, he didn't think about holding the ball to try to run out the clock or make the Aggies foul him.

"Devo got me the ball at a good angle," Umude said. "I knew I was going to be able to get [to] the rim and at least draw a foul. I had a good step on the guy and just took off."

Musselman agreed with how Umude played it.

"He might have been able to eat up a second or two, but they still would have had a little bit of time on the clock," Musselman said. "So I think he made the right read.

"There's times where we're on the bench trying to back it out. But this was one particular time I thought Devo made a great read, Stan made a good decision and you take the two points. Especially with that little amount of time left."

Jaylin Williams, who inbounded the ball to Davis, said he wasn't surprised the Aggies weren't able to foul him.

"Devo is fast," Williams said. "I knew they weren't going to catch him."

The Razorbacks hit 4 of 5 shots in overtime, including a jump shot by Williams with 10.7 seconds left in overtime to give Arkansas a 74-71 lead with the shot clock running down.

Chris Lykes nearly turned the ball over and was falling down when he got it to Williams.

"I just filled out and he gave it to me and I just shot it," Williams said. "I have confidence in myself and I know my teammates have confidence in me shooting that shot. I work on it every day.

"I just had confidence, took the shot and it went in."

Williams, a sophomore forward, had 14 points, 11 rebounds, 6 steals, 3 assists and 3 blocked shots in 42 minutes.

Senior guard JD Notae led the Razorbacks with 17 points, but he fouled out with 1:04 left in regulation.

"You don't have to watch us too long to know we run a lot of things through [Notae] and with him," Musselman said. "Didn't particularly have good play in regulation [without] him, and so when it went into overtime it was, 'Hey, forget anything that happened in the first 40 minutes. We've got five minutes to play, and the one thing we've got to hang our hat on is we've got to defend at the same level we have been,' because we're defending at a level that's really elite right now.

"I knew offensively it might not look pretty, but I thought defensively we were pretty doggone good for an entire game and in overtime as well."

Texas A&M freshman guard Wade Taylor, who scored a game-high 25 points, was fouled by Davis with 5.5 seconds left in overtime and hit two free throws to cut Arkansas' lead to 74-73.

Taylor hit 8 of 14 shots, including 5 of 8 three-pointers, and 4 of 5 free throws.

"I thought Taylor, as a freshman, had an incredible game," Musselman said.

The Aggies took their first lead of the game, 66-64 with 4:17 left in overtime, when Tyrece Radford stole the ball from Lykes and passed to Quenton Jackson for a layup.

Arkansas senior forward Au'Diese Toney, who had 12 points, hit two free throws to tie it at 66-66.

After Marcus Williams missed a three-point attempt for the Aggies, Davis had a three-point play for a 69-68 Arkansas lead.

Taylor then had a missed three-pointer and Jaylin Williams hit a jumper to put the Razorbacks ahead 71-68.

Davis hit 1 of 2 free throws for a 72-68 Arkansas lead.

Taylor's three-pointer made it 72-71.

The game went to overtime after Texas A&M tied it 64-64 on Diarra's three-point basket with 9.1 seconds left in regulation. It was his only basket of the game.

The Razorbacks then couldn't get a shot off and Trey Wade turned the ball over with 1.2 seconds left.

Jaylin Williams stole the inbound pass and there still was 1.2 seconds on the clock when Arkansas called timeout.

The Aggies forced the Razorbacks to inbound the ball in the backcourt and Umude's heave from 70 feet missed the basket, sending the game to overtime

Texas A&M, which got 13 points from Jackson, rallied after falling behind 20-4 to start the game.

"Incredible fight," Aggies Coach Buzz Williams said of his players. "Tremendous courage. Unbelievable togetherness.

"Top five arena, environment, in the country. Did a lot of good things. Didn't start well. Hard to play from behind against a team that's top 20 in the country with a coach that has a 75% winning percentage with incredibly talented players.

"But hold our guys in the highest regard and believe in them."

Umude, a transfer from South Dakota, said the Razorbacks feed off the raucous home crowd.

"It's crazy playing in this environment," Umude said. "This is the environment that I pictured myself playing in and so it's a dream come true.

"Playing in front of all those fans ,it just gives you a different edge and it just really helps us in the end."

Game sketch

RECORDS Arkansas 14-5, 4-3 SEC; Texas A&M 15-4, 4-2.

STARS Arkansas sophomore forward Jaylin Williams (14 points, 11 rebounds, 6 steals, 3 assists, 3 blocked shots) and senior guards JD Notae (17 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists) and Stanley Umude (15 points, 7 rebounds). Texas A&M freshman guard Wade Taylor (25 points).

KEY STAT The Razorbacks hit 4 of 5 shots in overtime

  photo  Arkansas sophomore guard Davonte Davis drives toward the basket as Texas A&M’s Hassan Diarra defends during the first half of Saturday night’s game at Walton Arena in Fayetteville. More photos available at (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Charlie Kaijo)

 Gallery: Arkansas defeats Texas A&M 76-73

Print Headline: Sigh of relief


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