STARKVILLE, Miss. - Anthlon Bell scored a career-high 19 points to lead Arkansas to a 73-69 victory over Mississippi State on Saturday, its first win in Starkville in 14 years.
Arkansas (18-9, 7-7 Southeastern Conference) shot 44 percent (28-of-64) from the field and hit eight 3-pointers, seven in the first half. The Razorbacks have now won five of their last six.
The win and other results on Saturday left Arkansas in a seven-way tie for fourth place in the SEC along with Missouri, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss and LSU.
"Our guys have been through enough close games at home and on the road now so they don't panic.," Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson said. "Give credit to (Mississippi State head coach) Rick Ray and his team because he has them playing very hard and they refused to go away when we had created some separation.
" I thought tonight we were able to use our strength which is our depth," Anderson added. "We had some guys step up and every game it can be someone different. That's how I know we're starting to play Hog basketball."
Bell was 8-of-15 from the floor and 3-of-8 from 3-point range. Michael Qualls scored 15 points on 6-of-14 shooting and Bobby Portis added 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting for the Razorbacks.
"I knew the slump wasn't going to last forever, so I just stayed with it," Bell said. "I stayed positive and made sure I got up a lot of shots before and after practice."
Bell had scored just four points in his last seven games.
"He wasn't on the scouting report," Mississippi State head coach Rick Ray said of Bell. " He really came in and gave them a lift and did a good job."
Mississippi State (13-14, 3-11 SEC) also shot 44 percent (26-of-59) from the field, but struggled with turnovers and failed at times to defend the perimeter.
The Bulldogs have lost nine games in a row. Colin Borchert led Mississippi State with 21 points and 7 rebounds.
Roquez Johnson added 11 points and Trivante Bloodman and Craig Sword both chipped in 10 points.
Arkansas opened the game 4-of-5 from beyond the arc and led for most of the first half.
MSU took a brief 15-14 lead, but the Razorbacks immediately hit another 3-pointer, stole the ball twice and hit two quick layups to open back up a six-point lead. Arkansas led 39-35 at the half.
In the second half, MSU pulled to within two points early, but Arkansas never surrendered the lead. MSU made a late rally and trailed 73-69 with 40 seconds remaining, but missed a 3-pointer on its final possession.
Arkansas lost the rebounding battle 43-36 but forced 16 Mississippi State turnovers, which it converted to 19 points.
Arkansas 73, Mississippi State 69
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