Arkansas played its first double-overtime game since 1987 when the Razorbacks defeated Auburn 88-80 in Bud Walton Arena on Wednesday. Their next opponent, Ole Miss, is also coming off of an overtime victory as the Rebels beat Vanderbilt 89-79 in Nashville the night before the Razorbacks' double-overtime thriller.
The Razorbacks appear to have the more difficult road leading up to the fourth conference match-up, having fewer days of rest and traveling to Oxford, Miss., but Mike Anderson said his basketball team is ready for the task at hand.
"It's a quick turnaround and we have the chance to go on the road and have an opportunity to play an outstanding Ole Miss team that is playing some real good basketball," Arkansas coach Mike Anderson said. "(Ole Miss coach) Andy (Kennedy) has got a very mature team. They have quite a few starters back from last year.
In addition to the game being away from Bud Walton, which has been a difficult obstacle for Arkansas to overcome in it of itself, the Razorbacks will face a few of the SEC's best players. Marshall Henderson is the league's leading scorer, averaging 19.1 points per game, Murphy Holloway averages a double-double, scoring 15.9 points and pulling down 10.6 rebounds per game and Reginald Buckner adds another 10.4 points, 8 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game for the Rebels.
"(Kennedy) has got some seniors including Murphy Holloway who is leading the league in rebounding," Anderson said. "They have added Marshall Henderson who is leading our league in scoring and when he steps in the gym, man, he can shoot the basketball. He can really put it in the hole and I think he has really added a dimension to their basketball team and plays with a lot of confidence.
"And of course Reginald Buckner is one of the leading shot-blockers in our league and he and Murphy have been there quite awhile."
In Tuesday's matchup with Vanderbilt, the Commodores hit a 3-pointer with 3.2 seconds left, but Henderson answered with a buzzer-beater from about 35 feet out to send the game into overtime.
"Remarkable shot," Anderson said of Henderson's buzzer-beater. "He shot it without even hesitating about it. He took the ball out and came right at Vanderbilt. Those are the shots that help you have special seasons."
As a team, Ole Miss is fourth in the nation in scoring and has four players averaging at least 10 points per game. The Rebels score 82.8 points per game, compared to Arkansas' 79.6 average points.
Ole Miss swept Arkansas last season behind Murphy Holloway's play. The 6-foot-7 forward combined for 35 points and 30 rebounds in the two games against the Razorbacks in 2012.
"I think when you've got a guy like Murphy Holloway, that's very, very effective about putting it on the floor, he's just a power forward delux," Anderson said. "And then you've got a guy like Buckner, who can catch the lobs from (Jarvis) Summers, attacking and scoring.
"To me, that extends the defense, because you've got to pay attention to Marshall. He's a guy that can knock it down from 30 or 40 feet. And they look for him to score. He looks to score for their basketball team. Sometimes it's like they throw it up there and just go get it with the athletes they've got. They've got some tremendous athletes, so we've got to really put bodies on people, because I think they're one of the more athletic teams in our league."
Saturday's 12:30 match-up with Ole Miss marks Arkansas' second conference road test of the season. The Razorbacks were 3-13 in road conference games the past two seasons and lost this year's conference opener 69-51 at Texas A&M.
Arkansas held the lead twice against the Aggies and trailed by just five points at halftime, but Texas A&M quickly stretched its lead to double figures and never looked back. Arkansas forward Marshawn Powell said for the Razorbacks to experience new results in an away match-up, they will have to approach it differently than their last road game.
"We have got to bring it," Powell said. "Everybody has to get on the bus, even before we leave here, with their minds made that we are not going to come and show what we showed at Texas A&M.
"We are going to play until the clock says 0:00."