OXFORD, Miss. - Arkansas went to the state of Mississippi this week hoping to grab two road wins that might help the Razorbacks to a run at the end of the season.
But instead the Razorbacks offered up three of their worst halves of the season and will come home for three straight home games skidding.
Stefan Moody - the SEC's leading scorer at over 23 points per game - struggled through a scoreless first half and had seven turnovers, but ended up scoring 17 second-half points as Ole Miss downed Arkansas 76-60 Saturday afternoon at the Pavilion at Ole Miss
Arkansas (12-13, 5-7) lead 37-35 at halftime, but went a frigid 5-of-28 shooting after intermission in a loss that followed up Tuesday night's 22 percent field goal shooting in an embarrasing 78-46 loss to Mississippi State in Starkville.
"It was a tale of halves and I think that is what you have got to say," Razorback head coach Mike Anderson said. "Our guys came put really focused and really executing the game plan offensively and defensively. I think we kept Ole Miss kind of off-kilter for a little bit.
"But in the second half, they got a little bit of rhythm offensively and we couidn't score so as we didn't score I thought our defense went as cold as our offense."
Tomasz Gielo had 15 points, Sebastian Saiz had 11 points, Anthony Perez had 11 and 8 rebounds and Marcanvis Hymon 10 points and 11 rebounds for Ole Miss (16-9, 6-6), who dominated the boards 47-29 while grabbing 18 offenive rebounds to Arkansas' 11.
"They just outhustled us to those rebounds that you have to get so that comes down to toughness," Anderson said. "We didn't fulfill our part for 40 minutes. For 20 minutes, I thought we did. But for 40 minutes, we didn't."
Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy was pleased with his team's rebounding.
“It’s huge for us, and that’s an effort stat," Kennedy said. " Those are the things that jump off the stat sheet. Sometimes, Moody is going to go 4-for-17 like he did tonight. Sometimes, he’s going to go 9-for-17. We’ve seen both of those.
"The one thing jumps off is that we held them to 18 percent in the second half. We played the entire half in man. The huge discrepancy on the glass shows that we’re really engaged. Mentally, the stat that shows we were locked in and that maybe we are serious about making a run down the stretch, is we go 21-for-22 at the free throw line. That shows that we’re locked in mentally.”
Moses Kingsley had 19 points and 13 rebounds for his 12th double-double of the season while Anthlon Bell added 16 and Jimmy Whitt 9.
"He (Kingsley) played well and he was the anchor," Anderson said. "We tallked about starting the game inside-out and I thought we did a god job of getting the ball to him and it opened up some things outside," Anderson said.
Dusty Hannahs, the Razorbacks' leading scorer at 16.5 points per game, was scoreless while going 0-of-4 from the field and playing just 16 minutes.
Kingsley was 8-of-11 from the field, but Bell was 3-of-14 from the field, Anton Beard 2-of-10 and Jabril Durham 0-of-7 on Saturday.
"We have got to get some scoring out of, let's say Dusty, who doesn't score a point today for you," Anderson said. "Bell goes 3 for 14 and he had some tremendous looks. We have got to get some other guys scoring for us."
Kennedy was proud of his team for getting the win with Moody struggling.
"It was a team effort," Kennedy said. "The game had no flow for us early. In the second half, we were able to put together multiple stops in our man defense. That was the most encouraging. In part, it was probably because we got Sebas (Sebastian Saiz) back in. We’re not so scared to match up man-to-man against a physically presence like Moses (Kingsley). Moses was really hurting us in the first half with his ability to finish at the rim. We did a much better job of neutralizing that and staying matched up with their shooters.
"We caught a lucky break that Dusty Hannahs got in foul trouble and never really got in a flow. This kid is a prolific shooter, so it took one of their weapons away. I’m proud of the effort, especially defensively.”
Ole Miss' domination on the boards let it survive the bad half from Moody.
"You have got to be able to excute," Anderson said. "There were times when we came out of timeouts that we executed and did what we were supposed to do, but I thought they (the Rebels) did a good job of getting on the offensive glass and getting themselve second chance points."
Arkansas will return home for three home for three games with Auburn on Wednesday night, Missouri on Saturday night and then LSU coming in on Tuesday, Feb. 23.null