Like It Is

OPINION | WALLY HALL: Toney’s ‘D’ a big reason Hogs advanced

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Thursday night, sitting at press row in front of the Vermont fans was an ear-ringing experience.

Class and dignity went out the window in the first minute, and 40 minutes of heck was listening to them drop every crude verbal bomb they could on the referees and selected Arkansas Razorbacks.

On Saturday night, the New Mexico State fans started with "TEDDY" before the game ever started.

Teddy Allen, the Aggies' leading scorer, is why New Mexico State was playing and UConn wasn't. He burned the Huskies for 37 points.

Arkansas fans should have been yelling Au'Diese, who had the role of covering Allen. The only time Au'Diese Toney was leaving the game was if Allen did.

Toney was the hero for the Hogs, holding the Aggies leading scorer to just 12 points on 5-of-16 shooting, and the Razorbacks survived 53-48.

With Toney doing a great job on Allen, the Aggies came out with a different plan to open the second half: Smash the glass.

They pulled to within 30-28 on a dunk and two lay-ups with 12:58 to play and limited the Razorbacks to just two field goals on 2-of-10 shooting.

The Aggies tied it at 30-30 on another lay-up and Arkansas answered with a charge, their fourth turnover of the half. One minute later, the Hogs got another charge.

While they were in an 0 for 10 shooting slump and committing four turnovers, Johnny McCants completed a three-point play for a 33-32 Aggie lead, their first in 23:43.

It was short-lived as Jaylin Williams made two free throws and JD Notae did likewise to put the Hogs back on top, 36-33

Stanley Umude, who is playing himself toward the NBA hit a three-pointer, and Davonte Davis made a steal and a perfect bounce pass to Toney for a dunk and a 41-33 lead with 6:07 to play.

McCants hit a three for the Aggies, and Chris Lykes made three free throws for the Hogs. New Mexico State got a pair of free throws and Allen his third field goal to make it 44-40 with 3:40 to go.

The Aggies lost the ball, and Notae went to the line where he made two more free throws, but the Aggies lost the ball with 1:45 to play. But 23 seconds later Notae was called for another charge.

Allen got his second three of the night to make it a one possession game but Davis made a pair of free throws and the Aggies took a timeout down 48-43 with 27 seconds to play. Allen missed but the Aggies rebounded and Sir'Jabari Rice nailed a three with 12 seconds to play.

Toney set the final score with a free throw with one second left.

It was not a pretty first half unless you love defense.

Both teams struggled shooting, and much of that was the way everyone was being covered. With 9:21 to play in the opening half the score was tied 9-9. Each team had three field goals.

Then, Umude got the Hogs rolling with a three-point play, and on their next two possessions he had assists with his pin-point passing that allowed Notae and Toney lay-ups.

Notae, who had four steals in the first half got a steal, was fouled and made a free throw. After a timeout, he made another steal, and this time made both free throws.

Williams caught the Aggies flat-footed when he grabbed a rebound and passed the length of the court for a Notae lay-up. After the Aggies' 11th turnover of the first half (they would have 12) Notae nailed a three for a 24-11 lead.

The 15-2 run ended on an Aggie score. Williams, who had 10 rebounds in the first half made a pair of free throws and New Mexico State got a three-point play to end the half down 26-17.

Arkansas was 9 of 27 from the floor and 2 of 11 on threes, and the Aggies were 6 of 25 and 3 of 15 behind the arc.

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