Memphis 72, Arkansas 67 (Final)

Mike Jones missed a three-pointer with 11 seconds left to let Memphis escape with a 72-67 victory Thursday at Bud Walton Arena.

Arkansas had a five-point lead in the final five minutes, but ran out of offensive punch down the stretch as Memphis canned key free throws to take the lead and pull away in the closing seconds.

Jones tried a three-pointer from the side of the key after Arkansas called timeout with 12 seconds left trailing by one point. It bounced off the rim, and Arkansas quickly fouled. The Tigers hit four free throws in the closing seconds.

It was a pleasant night of basketball in Bud Walton Arena. First, the crowd was back, mostly. Announced attendance of 17,184 was a bit kind, but there was probably 15,000 in the building. The upper deck was less than half full. Overall, the crowd did its part.

The things the Hogs did well was work their offense to get good shots. There was solid spacing, solid execution in many areas and the shots were good all night. We hit 48.9 percent, which is a good indication of better shot selection. There were only 13 turnovers against a good defensive team.

The perimeter defense was suspect as far as dribble penetration. They allowed too many drives to the paint and gave up too many fouls. Some of them might have been questionable calls, but many were not. Memphis hit 61.9 percent from the field and got 26 attempts at the foul line. That is not good defense and it started with the perimeter defense against the dribble.

Jones did a nice job off the bench with 18 points in 25 minutes. He did miss a key shot on a set play out of the timeout in the final minute, but he was the steadiest offensvie player for much of the game. He canned 7 of 10 from the field and 4 of 6 on treys.

Eric Ferguson added 14 points and sustained only two turnovers while operating the UA offense. Carl Baker added 12 points and was the top UA rebounder with six.

The Hogs were 11 of 16 from the foul line in the second half for 68.8 percent, but missed some key charities down the stretch.

Memphis did eliminate the second-chance points that have been Arkansas' bread and butter under Stan Heath. The Hogs got only five offensive rebounds in the game, two by Jonathon Modica. Dionisio Gomez got one on the offensive glass and Carl Baker got one, and the fifth was a team rebound on a dead ball situation.

"We did a lot of things good, but we needed a few more defensive stops at the end," Stan Heath said. "We played hard and did a good job in our offense, but we missed some open people and we also missed some open looks when we had them. We had our chances and we improved, but we have to keep battling to eliminate mistakes."

The Hogs slipped to 4-6 under Heath after losing their second straight game. Memphis improved to 8-2 under John Calipari.


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