The loss was Mississippi State's 9 straight in Bud Walton Arena and the 11th straight time MSU has lost to Arkansas in Fayetteville.
Neither team could put the other one away until at the halfway point of the second half. When one team went out front, the other team countered with its own run to get back into the game.
Arkansas started the game with an 8-2 run, but Mississippi State came right back to go on a 13-3 run to take a 15-11 lead. Arkansas countered that with a 11-1 run of their own to go back up 22-16.
With the Arkansas crowd in the game, the Bulldogs fought back to take a 26-25 lead with 4:26 left on the first half clock.
Arkansas would end the half on an 8-2 run to lead 33-28 at the half.
Arkansas started out the second half with a 5-0 run to take a ten-point lead, 38-28. The Bulldogs fought back to pull within three, 43-40.
Arkansas then went on a 14-0 run that put them ahead 57-40 and petty much sealed the victory for the Razorbacks. The Bulldogs would continue to fight hard but could never get closer than nine.
"There was about a three minute stretch in that second half where we let the flow of the game rush us and cause us to make turnovers," Coach Stansbury said. "When you give it to them that quick, they are going to make some basketball plays. That was basically the game."
Mississippi State was led by junior point guard Derrick Zimmerman with 17 points. Derrick also had 3 assists, 4 steals, 1 block shot and 2 rebounds in 38 minutes of play. He committed just 2 turnovers. Other Bulldogs in double figures included senior Marckell Patterson with 12 and sophomore center Mario Austin with 11.
Mario had scored 32 points in the his previous SEC game and had earned player of the week in the SEC for his play.
"When you are attacking that zone, it makes you rush and take some shots that you may not want to take. I really thought that Mario got tired," commented Coach Stansbury. "We tried to rest him some, but I didn't think he played with that energy that he had been playing with. It is very difficult to ask him to play the minutes he played. Maybe we should have played Marcus Campbell or Lincoln Smith more to rest him."
For the night, Arkansas outshot Mississippi State from the field, 44.5% to 37.3%. Arkansas was 36% from three-point range, while the Bulldogs were 29%. MSU outrebounded Arkansas 46 to 35. Mississippi State committed 9 more turnovers than Arkansas, 21 to 12.
The Bulldogs are now 14-2 on the season and 1-1 in the SEC.
"Just like Saturday, it is one game," said Stansbury. "This one was a loss. We have to learn from it and put it behind us and get ready for our next basketball game. We just have to take them one game at a time and stay focused."
Mississippi State now travels to Ole Miss Saturday for a 2 p.m. game with the Ole Miss Rebels.
Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet. The URL for Gene's Page is http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com. You can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.