Arkansas guard JD Notae (1) against Texas A&M during an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022, in Fayetteville, Ark. (AP Photo/Michael Woods)

Preview: Arkansas plays Ole Miss in Men’s Basketball

The Arkansas Razorbacks (14-5) travel down to Oxford tonight to take on the Ole Miss Rebels (10-9). Tip-off in The Pavillion is set for 7 p.m. E.T.

Ole Miss Experimenting

Following a 78-60 loss against in-state rival Mississippi State, Ole Miss bounced right back and stopped the Florida Gators’ (12-7) three-game winning streak. The Rebels pulled out a 70-54 win.

With the absence of their top scorer, Jarkel Joiner, Head Coach Kermit Davis needed to find a new duo that would create plays for the team and rack up points. Davis and the team struggled to execute plays throughout the season, but when he put in Daeshun Ruffin and Austin Crowley, they created plays that helped gain the win over the Gators.

“We’ve looked at all of these second-half stats, and something like us being plus-seven in the first half and minus-21 in the second half of SEC games. We just haven’t been executing,” Davis said Monday night. “I thought tonight [Ruffin] ran our team better, but I tell you what helped was getting him and Austin Crowley to play together. Against a pressing team, we had two point guards out there, and I thought that really helped us.”

In the game Wednesday, the Rebels are going to need to rely on top scorers Ruffin and Matthew Murrell. Ruffin averages 11.9 points and 3.8 steals per game. Murrell averages 10.4 points per game.

Arkansas Favored

On Jan. 22, Arkansas won 76-73 over Texas A&M in overtime. Jaylin Williams hit a three-pointer with 13 seconds left of overtime. The Aggies got the opportunity to close up the score with two foul shots and five seconds left, but Stanley Umude made a fast-break and dunked with a little over a second left of play.

The SEC named Williams Co-player of the week after his performance in the game.

The Razorback hopes to keep up the winning streak by outscoring the Rebels in foul shots. Head Coach Eric Musselman built his team to make shots from the line. His team is the NCAA Leader in both free throws made and attempts.

When it comes to team stats,  Arkansas trumps all of Ole Miss’. Scoring on average 79.2 points and 38.7 rebounds per game, the Razorbacks look favored to win over the Rebels. The ESPN predictor percentage though is almost 50 to 50 to who could win, but the Razorbacks have the 54.6% leverage.

About Molly Cooper

Molly is a fourth-year journalism major specializing in sports and media and working on a certificate in sports management at the University of Florida.

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