Coaches are very fond of saying it’s not how you start, but how you finish.
Never was that more evident than in Brooklyn on Friday afternoon in the NIT Preseason Tip-Off third-place game.
Arkansas (2-3) roared to a 20-point lead over Stanford in first half and still led by 15 with seven minutes left only to walk out of the Barlcays Center with a loss.
Rosco Allen had 25 points and 9 rebounds and The Cardinal scored 21 of the game’s last 22 points to down the Razorbacks 69-66.
"Obviously I am disappointed in the outcome of the game, but congratulations to (head coach) Johnny Dawkins and Stanford," Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson said. "They could have folded their tent, but that is testament to him.
"...We just didn't do a good job of finishing off. The game is 40 minutes long, not 20 minutes. We always make a point of that to our guys.
"...I thought we played not to lose down the stretch and that is not typical of one our teams."
It appeared that Arkansas senior forward Keaton Miles had blocked Marcus Allen’s attempt at a potential game-winning lay-up with just over two seconds left, but he was called for goal tending.
That incensed Anderson, who was issued a technical, and Allen added two free throws.
"They never do (give an explanation)," Anderson said. "But that was a block."
Dusty Hannahs’ attempt at a half-court 3-pointer rimmed out at the buzzer and gave Dawkins and Stanford (3-3) the victory.
"It was really one of those games where you hate to see either team lose," Dawkins said. "They had played a great game for most of the night and I have to give them a lot of credit. They have played well and defensively at times you thought there were like six or seven players out there on the floor as well as they moved and how quick they were.
"But I give our team a lot of credit for staying composed at the end of the game, realizing that we coud still make a run and believing that and that is what we were able to do at the end of the game.
"Our guys stayed poised at the end. We knew we had enough time, we just knew that we needed to feed the ball in the lane and hit some shots.
"...In the end we were just able to basically score one more basket than they did."
Arkansas senior shooting guard Anthlon Bell knocked down 5 3-pointers and had 15 points in the first eight minutes of the game as and the Razorbacks raced out to a 31-11 lead.
But Bell did not get another shot off during the first half and picked up his third foul with 1:32 left in the first half.
"He's a terrific player," Dawkins said. "The best thing we did was get him in foul trouble. That was probably the biggest thing because that can throw you off your rhythm a little bit when you have to go out.
"We did make some adjustments in the second half, put some bigger guys on him, a little more length to try and disrupt him instead of him just catching and shooting.
"When I looked at the box score at halftime and he had 15 points in nine minutes, I thought his guy is going to have special night."
Bell ended the night with 17 points before fouling out while Jimmy Whitt had 14, Hannahs 12 and Moses Kingsley 12 points and 12 rebounds before he also fouled out.
Arkansas led 41-31 at intermission and led 65-48 when its drought came to end the game.
"I've seen how big their hearts are," Dawkins said. "We've gone through a lot of adversity early in our season and through that I've really learned a lot about my team. And the thing I've learned is they have big hearts, they keep competing, they never give up."
On the other side, Anderson watched all his team's hard work go away in the last seven minutes.
"Basketball is a game of momemtnum," Anderson said. "If you want to win a half, it would be the second half. They got to the free throw line quite a bit (32 times) and that disrupted the game quite a bit."
Hannahs struggled shooting as he was just 3-of-14 on the day from the field. He also missed a free throw after hitting his first 20 this season.
Arkansas hit 11 of his first 15 shots and then only hit 12 of its next 51 attempts from the floor to finish 23-of-66 (34.8 percent) for the game.
The Razorbacks hit 5 of their first 6 3-point attempts only to finish the day 6-of-17 from beyond the arc while hitting 14-of-16 free throws.
"I think the game kind of slowed down to their tempo, they went to a zone and we didn't do a good job of attacking," Anderson said. "It showed in the shooting. We ended up shooting 20-something percent in the second half. I will take the blame on that. I didn't get our guys in position to finish the game off."
The Razorbacks were drubbed 50-26 on the boards in Thursday's 83-73 loss to Georgia Tech, but bounced back and actually out-rebounded the much-taller Cardinal 42-32 on Friday.
"We came out and were the blue-collar team that we are supposed to be," Anderson said.
Arkansas played without 6-10 sophomore forward Trey Thompson, who hurt his ankle in the first half of Thursday's loss.
"We'll know more when we get back and he gets some treatment," Anderson said. "He banged it pretty good. He turned that thing pretty good."
Arkansas will return to action Tuesday when it faces Northwestern State in an 8 p.m. game.
Roscoe Allen, who had 25 points and 9 rebounds, scores over Moses Kingsley, who had 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Bell had 15 points in the first eight minutes of Friday's game.