In last season's matchup in Bud Walton Arena, the Razorbacks shot 53 free throws en route to an 86-78 victory.
"It looked like we were headed back that way again so we started playing zone and trying to keep them off the free throw line," said Ole Miss coach Rod Barnes.
Barnes said the calls went both ways and said the constant stoppage of play didn't allow his team to get in a rhythm on either end of the court.
"We're one of the best conferences in the country, maybe the best conference so let us play," Barnes said. "We had some calls that may have been touch, but it wasn't just against us. I just thought there was some calls that didn't have to do anything with the play and we could have just played the game. That's what the kids want to do."
Arkansas point guard Dontell Jefferson was whistled for two touch fouls in a span of five minutes midway through the second half. He had four for the game and nearly joined teammate Charles Thomas, who fouled out, on the bench.
"We just had to adjust to the refs," Jefferson said. "They made some good calls and they made some bad calls, but we just had to play through it. They were just out there doing their job so I can't complain about it."
The series between Arkansas and Ole Miss has often been extremely physical, which Arkansas' Rashard Sullivan said may have contributed to the tightly called game.
"I think the refs were tight because they knew this was going to be an uptempo and physical game," Sullivan said. "So I think they were just trying to control the game from the beginning and not let it get too much out of hand."
Early on, Jefferson said the Hogs had to make some adjustments to the way the game was being officiated.
"For us, when they're calling it tight, we still have to keep our intensity up and try not to do a lot of hand checking or reaching so we won't get any quick calls," Jefferson said. "Then on offense, we have to be more aggressive and try to get the fouls called on them.
"No matter how they're calling it, the bottom line is we still have to stay aggressive and play our game."
Former AAU teammates Steven Hill and Jeremy Parnell went up against each other on the opening tip. Hill, Arkansas' 7-foot center, easily won the jump ball against the 6-9 Parnell by tipping it to Ronnie Brewer.
Hill and Parnell teamed up two summers ago for the Arkansas Wings. Parnell, who made his first career start, is from Gosnell while Hill is from Branson, Mo.
A total of 10 players on both teams are products of Arkansas AAU teams. Razorbacks Brewer, Jonathon Modica, Marcus Monk and Preston Cranford played for the Arkansas Hawks as did Ole Miss' Brandon Patterson, who's from Altheimer.
Arkansas' Mike Jones and Ole Miss' Bam Doyne (Little Rock) both spent time in the Wings' organization while the Hogs' Vincent Hunter, who's redshirting because of a shoulder injury, played for the Arkansas Rockets.
The Razorbacks recruited both Parnell and Patterson, but never offered either a scholarship.
Ole Miss senior forward Tommie Eddie did not attend Wednesday's game against Arkansas.
A press statement released prior to tip-off said that it was for "personal issues," but sources indicate that Eddie was addressing academic issues and could be ruled ineligible for the remainder of the season.
Hill denied the Rebels' first shot attempt when he rejected Londrick Nolen's offering 31 seconds into the game.
The true freshman had three blocked shots against Ole Miss and leads the SEC with 41 for the season.
Former Razorback Charles Tatum, sitting on the second row of the west bleachers, gave the officials an earful as often as he could during Wednesday's game.
Tatum, who graduated last year, said it was nice not to worry about receiving any technical fouls since he's no longer a player.
"That's why I'm yelling so much," Tatum said.
After Arkansas' Eric Ferguson was called for a first-half charge, a fan in the student section -- which is known as the Trough -- yelled, "Keep your job at the Foot Locker."
Packing It In
Wednesday night's crowd of 18,016 was a season-high for Bud Walton Arena and the most since 18,602 showed up for last February's 73-68 loss against Florida.
This season's previous high was 16,603 for the Hogs' 85-73 win against Tulsa on Nov. 30.
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