The Arkansas Razorbacks threatened to make the SEC-Big 12 Challenge into anything but a challenge.
Playing the West Virginia Mountaineers on Saturday, Arkansas opened the second half on a 14-4 row and was looking like king of the hill with a 52-33 lead. But basketball is a game of runs, and the Mountaineers got a couple as well.
It wasn't enough. The Arkansas Razorbacks got their sixth consecutive win, this one 77-68.
It was an aggressive game. West Virginia was called for 29 fouls, and the Razorbacks converted 28 of 34 free throws and out-rebounded the Mountainers 44-26.
Much is being said, and it should be, about the way the Razorbacks' Jaylin Williams has played during the win streak that has taken the Hogs from last place in the Southeastern Conference to tied for third.
Williams once again had a double-double, his fifth in the six wins, with 12 points and a personal best 15 rebounds. He also blocked shots and took charges.
The biggest difference on Saturday for the Hogs was Au’Diese Toney, who led all scorers with 19. The 6-6 senior missed only two shots, hitting 6 of 8.
Arkansas had 23 field goals, and 11 of them came from an assist. That’s team basketball.
West Virginia never led in the game, but the Mountaineers did pull to within 68-62 with 4:25 to play. However, the Razorbacks tightened their defense, hit the boards, made free throws and got crucial field goals from Toney and JD Notae, who finished with 15 points, and that powered the Hogs to their 16th overall win of the season.