Second-half surge propels Hogs past Tennessee 75-65

Tennessee needed a win over Arkansas on Saturday night to get to .500 on the season, but the Razorbacks shot lights out in the second half.

Tennessee's men's basketball team fell to Arkansas for the second time this season on Saturday // Photo by Sam Forman

Tennessee's men's basketball team fell to Arkansas for the second time this season on Saturday // Photo by Sam Forman

[title_box title=”Second-half surge propels Hogs past Tennessee 75-65″]

Still without leading scorer Kevin Punter, Tennessee (13-16, 6-10 SEC) looked sloppy in the second half of a 75-65 loss to Arkansas in Thompson-Boling Arena on Saturday night.

The Razorbacks (15-14, 8-8 SEC) could not be stopped from the field in the second half, shooting 59 percent en route to only their second win away from Fayetteville this season.

“Our second-half defense is what hurt us today,” said Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes. “We fought back but we didn’t play as hard as you have to play in the second half to win a game.”

The Hogs were led by Dusty Hannahs and Anthlon Bell, who put up 17 and 16 points, respectively. Anton Beard also scored in double figures.

For Tennessee, Armani Moore finished the day with 17 points and 11 rebounds.

“What can you say? Armani [Moore] was unbelievable, really. He needed more help from his teammates,” said Barnes. “He made some passes tonight that should have been easy plays.”

Admiral Schofield and Shembari Phillips also finished with double figures for UT.

The first half was filled with consistent scoring from both teams. The Hogs and Vols both shot over 40 percent from the field, but Arkansas led 34-33 at the break as a result of Bell’s 13 first-half points. Phillips and Moore combined for 20 points in the first half to keep the Vols in the game.

Tennessee got off to a quick start in the second half after Devon Baulkman put up the Vols’ first four points, but then Arkansas retaliated and it was more back-and-forth scoring for the first few minutes of the half.

The Razorbacks started to pull away around the ten-minute mark, despite being out-rebounded by Tennessee 42-33 and outscored in the paint, 34-26.

Three-point efficiency was the key for Arkansas in the final ten minutes. The Hogs shot 47 percent (9-of-19), while UT hit only a measly 19 percent (4-of-21) on the night.

Barnes said in the post-game press conference he did not have a timetable for Punter’s return. “If it were up to him [Punter], he would have played today. He would play on one foot if we would let him.”

The Vols will try to bounce back in Nashville on Tuesday when they travel to play Vanderbilt. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. ET on the SEC Network.

Featured image by Sam Forman

Edited by Jordan Dajani