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No. 13 Arkansas digs out of big hole, defeats No. 20 Missouri

Jan 4, 2023; Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks guard Anthony Black (0) drives in the first half as Missouri Tigers guard Sean East II (55) defends at Bud Walton Arena. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Ricky Council IV scored 25 points as No. 13 Arkansas rallied from a 17-point deficit in the first half to defeat No. 20 Missouri 74-68 on Wednesday night in the Southeastern Conference matchup in Fayetteville, Ark.

Joseph Pinion scored 13 points and Davonte Davis added 10 for the Razorbacks (12-2, 1-1 SEC).

Sean East II scored 13 points, Nick Honor had 12 and Kobe Brown added 11 for the Tigers (12-2, 1-1).

Arkansas outrebounded Missouri 40-23 overall and shot 61.5 percent from the floor in the second half.

After scoring 61 points in his previous two games, Brown drew two fouls in the first 3:44 and spent most of the half on the bench. But the Tigers still raced to a 25-8 lead, with East scoring seven early points.

Missouri’s zone defense forced Arkansas into perimeter shooting, and the Razorbacks missed 10-of-12 3-point shots in the first half. Arkansas didn’t reach double figures in scoring until there was 9:15 left in the first half.

With Missouri often deploying a four-guard lineup, the Razorbacks attacked the offensive boards and mustered an 11-4 run to cut Missouri’s lead to 29-19.

After the Tigers pushed their lead back to 15 points, the Razorbacks responded with an 8-0 run to cut their deficit to 34-27. Pinion capped that rally with a 3-point jumper with 30 seconds left in the first half.

Arkansas survived its cold first-half shooting by converting 10 offensive rebounds into 13 points.

The Razorbacks opened the second half with a 10-4 surge capped by Pinion’s 3-pointer. Davis gave them their first lead at 43-42 with 14:23 left with a drive, and Pinion followed that with another 3-point jumper.

Council took over from there, hitting a 3-point jumper, a shot in the lane and a traditional 3-point play in transition as the Razorbacks seized control and kept the lead for good.

The Tigers cut the margin to 71-68 with 20 seconds left on East’s driving layup, but Council kept them at bay with three late free throws.

–Field Level Media