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Hogs’ strong second half too much for Colgate in 85-68 win

| allHOGS •

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Arkansas used a 17-0 run to end the first half and a key 10-0 run in the second half to win the Razorbacks’ first NCAA Tournament game since 2017 with an 85-68 victory over Colgate on Friday afternoon in the first round and Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Justin Smith led the Hogs with a career-high 29 points — going a career-best 11-of-13 at the free throw line — and 13 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the year and fourth in the last 11 games.

He tied his career-high with five steals and added two blocked shots to become just the second player to record 29-plus points, 13-plus rebounds, 5-plus steals and 2-plus blocks in an NCAA Tournament game, joining Kansas great Danny Manning in the 1988 championship game versus Oklahoma. Manning had 31 points, 18 rebounds, 5 steals and 2 rebounds.

The Raiders entered the game second in the NCAA in scoring (86.3 ppg) and seventh in field goal percentage (.498) but were held to 18 points below their average (68 points) and 101 percentage points below their shooting percentage (.397).

During the 17-0 first-half run, Arkansas held Colgate scoreless for the final 5:28 in the first half, holding the Raiders to 0-of-8 shooting). In the decisive 10-0, second-half run, Arkansas held the Raiders scoreless for 3:41.

Five Razorbacks scored in double figures with SEC Sixth Man of the Year J.D. Notae adding 14 off the bench.

Photo by Joe Robbins | NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Jalen Tate had 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists with just one turnover. Davonte Davis and Moses Moody each scored 12. Davis added six rebounds, three assists and two steals (back-to-back possessions) to start the 17-0 run.

The Razorbacks forced 22 Colgate turnovers, the most for the Raiders since 2016, and allowed just seven second-choice while outscoring Colgate by 14 points in the second half.

Arkansas faces Texas Tech in the second round on Sunday (Mar. 21). The site and time will not be determined until the conclusion of all of today’s first round games.

First half: Arkansas 36 – Colgate 33

• Moses Moody (7) and Justin Smith (5) accounted for all 12 of Arkansas’ points early. Colgate led 14-12 through the second media timeout (11:48).

• Arkansas tied the game at 17-17 before Colgate went on a 10-0 run.

• Colgate pushed its lead to 14 (33-19) before started the Razorbacks’ 17-0 run as Davonte Davis made back-to-back steals – scoring once and assisting once – on fast break layups to cut the deficit to 10 (33-23) and force a Colgate timeout (3:31).

• Arkansas continued to turn up the defense, as the run extended to 17-0 to end the first half and lead 36-33. Jalen Tate and Davonte Davis each had six points in the run, including a layup as the buzzer sounded to end the first half.

• During the Razorback run, Arkansas held Colgate scoreless for the final 5:28 of the first half and the Raiders were 0-of-8 with seven turnovers over the span.

• Justin Smith, who led the Razorbacks with 11 first-half points, had a dunk with 35 seconds left to give the Hogs their first lead since the 13:57 mark.

• Colgate made 6-of-14 3-pointers (compared to 2-of-9 by Arkansas) and the Raiders had 10 assists on 12 made baskets.

Photo by Jack Dempsey | NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Second half: Arkansas 49–Colgate 35

• Arkansas scored first to start the second half to make the run 19-0. However, Colgate made 5-of-6 field goals to lead 50-44 with 13:49 left.

• JD Notae had a steal and completed an old-fashion 3-point play to put Arkansas up 56-54 with 10:20 left.

• Later, with the score tied at 58-58, Notae made a 3-poniter and sank two free throws after he was fouled shooting a 3-pointer to put the Hogs up five (63-58) with 8:07 left.

• Colgate answered to get to within three (63-60) before the Hogs went on a 10-0 run to lead 73-60, holding Colgate scoreless for 3:41 to lead at 13 at the four-minute timeout (3:40).

• Arkansas made 8-of-10 at the free throw line inside the final 2:18 to secure the win.

• Justin Smith scored 18 of his points and had seven of his rebounds in the second half.

Photo by Joe Robbins | NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Game notes

• Arkansas is now 43-32 in the NCAA Tournament and 17-8 in first round games.

• The was Arkansas’ first meeting with Colgate. Arkansas is now 3-1 versus Patriot League teams Ironically, that one loss was to Bucknell in the first round of the 2006 NCAA Tournament.

• The win over Colgate gives Arkansas its seventh win over a QUAD 1 opponent over its last 11 games.

Each of Eric Musselman’s three NCAA Tournament wins have come despite facing significant deficits.

• 2018 NCAA 1st Round: Nevada was down 14 (40-26) to Texas with 18:42 left in regulation. Nevada made a basket with three seconds left to force overtime and defeated the Longhorns by four (87-83).

• 2018 NCAA 2nd Round: Nevada was down 17 (27-10) to Cincinnati in the first half and down 20 (65-45) with 10:49 left in the second half. Nevada tied it (73-73) with 54 seconds left then sank a basket with three seconds left to win 75-73.

• 2021 NCAA 1st Round; Arkansas was down 14 with 5:28 left in the first half before going on a 19-0 run. Arkansas was down six (50-44) with 13:49 left but took a 55-54 lead with 10:20 left and led the rest of the way.

• 2019 NCAA 1st Round: Nevada did not win but was down 18 (51-33) to Florida with 14:03 left in the game. Nevada worked its deficit to two (63-61) with 2:02 left, but the Gators held on for a 70-61 win.

• Arkansas won despite being out-rebounded (42-37). Arkansas is now 4-4 this year when being out-rebounded.

• Arkansas is 15-0 this year when scoring at least 80 points.

• Arkansas is 7-0 when at least five players score in double figures.

• Arkansas has won by double-digits in 17 of its 23 wins. Arkansas entered the game 21st in the NCAA in scoring margin. (Colgate entered the game 4th in the NCAA in scoring margin.)

• Arkansas’ starting lineup was Jalen Tate (G) – Davonte Davis (G) – Moses Moody (G) – Justin Smith (F) – Connor Vanover (F) for the 11th consecutive game. The lineup is 10-1 this season.

• Colgate won the opening tip. Arkansas is 10-3 when the opponent controls the tip.

• Colgate’s Keegan scored the game’s first points, two free throws at 18:35. Arkansas is 8-2 when its opponent scores first. Arkansas’ first points came from Moses Moody, a runner on the right side at 17:57.

• Jaylin Williams was the first sub for Arkansas. It was the ninth time he has been the first sub and Arkansas is 8-1 in those games.