Arkansas 66, No. 19 Michigan 64

Arkansas hits its first 11 shots, roars out to a 20-point lead and then survives a last-second shot to down No. 19 Michigan 66-64 Saturday afternoon before a packed house of a season-high 19,050 fans at Bud Walton Arena.

"Forty Minutes Of Hell" made its return to Bud Walton Arena in a different way on Saturday.

The first 33 minutes were Hell for Michigan. The last seven were Hell for Arkansas.

Still B.J. Young had 15 points as the Razorbacks hit its first 11 shots of the game en route to going up 20 points against the No. 19 Wolverines before surviving a buzzer-beating shot by Trey Burke to win 66-64 before a season-high 19,050 fans.

"My kids played their hearts out," said Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson, about a game that was televised by CBS. "…It was a good win for our basketball team, a good win for our basketball program."

Mardarcus Wade added 12 points and Hunter Mickelson and Rickey Scott both added 11 for Arkansas (14-5), who is 14-0 at home for the first time since the 1997-98 campaign.

It came before a packed house that included Arkansas native and major league baseball player Torii Hunter, PGA golfer John Daly, former Razorback coach Nolan Richardson, a bevy of high school recruits, the Arkansas football team and nearly 5,000 more fans than had been at any other game this season.

"I feel people are excited about this team," Anderson said. "They play a relentless style. It's not always pretty, but they play their hearts out."

Michigan head coach John Beilein, whose team was coming in off a 60-59 home win over arch rival Michigan State, was impressed with both team's effort.

"This certainly was a wonderful venue to play at and we are glad we made the trip," Beilein said. "Arkansas has a really good young team. They are young, but that is the quickest team we will probably see all year long.

"…It took us awhile to get adjusted to that quickness," Beilein added. "Once we did I thought we played a pretty good game, but the early lead hurt us. It is tough to simulate. Now I know what somebody must say when the play the Southeastern Conference in football."

The two teams are scheduled to play next Saturday, Dec. 10 in Ann Arbor.

Arkansas jumped to a 34-14 lead and had a 46-33 lead at half while shooting a sizzling 65.4 percent from the field before intermission.

The Razorbacks, who would shoot 50 percent from the field on the day, still led 61-48 with 6:50 left.

But Michigan (15-5) went on a 14-3 run to close within 64-62 on Burke's lay-up with 2:45.

"We have got a lot of courage in that locker room, a lot of tough kids that will not give in to fatigue, won't give in to crowds," Beilein said. "They hang in there."

It stayed that way until 42 seconds were left in the game when Mickelson scored off a nice screen-and-roll assist from Young to send Arkansas up 66-62.

Mickelson, who extended his streak with at least one block shot to 19 with a pair on Saturday, hit 5-of-6 field attempts.

"It was a big play," Anderson said. "That's what players do - and these are young players."

It was also a called one per Anderson.

"We put them in a special set that we run," Anderson said. "We put the ball in BJ's hands. He was having a very good game. And he made the right play. It was good to see him make the right play and trust his teammate. To Hunter's credit, he showed his agility by going in there and finishing off his shot."

It certainly is one the pair have run over and over in practice.

"Hunter is a great finisher around the rim," Young said. " We tried to get i a pick and roll mismatch situation and he came through with a big bucket for us at the end of the game."

Burke's lay-up cut it to 66-64 with 24 seconds left and he had a chance to win it when both Young and Julysess Nobles missed the front end of 1-and-1s.

"They were the cardiac kids when they went to the free-throw line," Anderson of the Razorbacks, who finished the day 13-of-21 after missing three of their last four.

Those misses left Burks with a chance to win it after Arkansas took a foul with seven seconds left.

Burks got a good shot off over Nobles that would have won it for the visitors, but it rimmed out and set off a wild celebration.

"It would have been a great ending," Beiline said. "I thought it was a little bit short out of his hand. I have watched literally millions of shots. I thought it was going to be a little bit short, but he had so much arch on it – because he had to shoot it up high. It would have been nice for it to go in, but I have been on both ends of those. It was a great basketball game."

Young admitted he thought it was going in.

"I saw it released out of his his hand and it looked short but then I saw it drop in and then bounce back out and there was excitement from there," Young said. "It looked. It was a good shot Trey Bruke is a very good player. We have been playing against each other and we knew each other. I know he's a very good player. I have to give credit to him and Michigan."

Young was also involved in a controversial play in the second half as he was fouled hard going for a slam dunk by Michigan senior guard Zac Novak.

The referees ruled it a flagrant one foul as Young - who had his hand iced down at the post game press conference - came crashing hard to the floor.

I was going up to dunk and he knocked me out of the air," Young said. " It was a good, hard foul but I hit the ground coming down. When I did it was pretty hard hit but it's OK. I know fouls like that happened all the time."

Beiline admitted that he would have to watch the video, but defended Novak.

"All I know is that Zach Novak plays as hard as can be and plays as clean as can be," Beilein said. "I am sure there was no ill intent."

Anderson didn't seem to worried about the play.

"I didn't get a chance to look at it. It's just the heat of battle. I'm sure .. he gave him a good foul. There was no question about it what he was going to do because the kid was already airborne. But that's part of basketball."

It certainly was a great bounce-back from a humbling road loss to No. 2 Kentucky.

"That Kentucky game was pretty rough," Mickelson said. "But we had to bounce back from it and we worked hard on the days leading to this game and we kind of put it behind us. There was nothing we could do about it after it was said and done so we just came in here and worked hard like we normally do and just tried to get ready for Michigan and it worked out well."

Marvell Waithe started the game in place of fellow senior Michael Sanchez, but lasted just two minutes before suffering an strained calf injury and missing the rest of the game.

That means Arkansas may go into Wednesday night's 8 p.m. game with eight scholarship players and walk ons Brandon Mitchell and Kikko Haydar.

"He'll get some treatment," Anderson said. "It's strained right now. He may be out for a game or two, I don't know. We'll find out. But we've got some other guys over there. You've got eight guys. So who knows, we may get some other guys involved in terms of playing. You've got Brandon over there who could get some more practice time. You've got Kikko over there."

Arkansas will indeed host Auburn on Wednesday and then travel to Alabama next Saturday.


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