Arkansas vs. Oklahoma – Game Recap – December 11, 2021


TULSA, Okla. – – In a neutral venues showdown with future SEC opponents, Arkansas had the shortest haul but the longest haul back.

Elijah Harkless had 21 points and 11 rebounds as Oklahoma handed the 12th-ranked Razorbacks their first loss of the season, frustrating their coach and top shooters in an 88-66 loss on Saturday.

Playing in front of a divided crowd of 12,746 within two hours of both schools, Oklahoma (8-2) rushed to a 13-0 lead in the first 4:37, helped by two 3-pointers and a practice of Harkless.

Arkansas (9-1) never caught up and coach Eric Musselman suffered two technical fouls and was sent off with 3:30 to go. He was held up by his assistant coaches as he argued with an official, and Jordan Goldwire had four free throws that made it 76-57.

Musselman didn’t comment on the referee afterwards, but a lot to say about his team’s poor shot and lack of tenacity while praising OU for the same.

“Harkless, I thought he was phenomenal,” Musselman said. “Thanks to his tenacity and pure desire, he had an incredible game.”

JD Notae, who led the Razorbacks with nearly 19 points per game, was limited to 13 on a 3-on-14 shot. Davonte Davis scored a career-high 26 for Arkansas.

Tanner Groves had 16 points, including a 3-point one that pushed OU’s lead to 69-57 with 6:02 to go and appeared to deflate the Razorbacks. Goldwire scored 14, Umoja Gibson 12 and Jalen Hill 11.

The Sooners shot 54.9% from the field, including 13 of 22 3-pointers. They were confined to Arkansas at 21 of 61 (34%), including 7 of 24 of 3s.

Down 15 early in the second half, Arkansas finished 57-54 on Notae’s three free throws with 9:55 remaining, but the Sooners have steadily walked away from there.

“There was no panic when Arkansas made it a one-possession game,” said Oklahoma coach Porter Moser. “Time and time again we have responded, time and time again.

“Jordan Goldwire had his best ground game for us so far this year. I think he really controlled a lot of tempo. He got beatings from guys. From Harkless, I saw the tenacity. I think he really took Butler’s game to heart (when OU lost 13 points in the second half.) I just saw an advantage for him.

BIG PICTURE

Arkansas: Will have to look for ways to generate a more consistent attack on nights when Notae is in trouble. Davis was lagging far behind, but second-leading scorer Au’Diese Toney finished with just six points on four shots.

Oklahoma: Seemed a lot more consistent on both sides after losing a home game to Butler. The Sooners have two more non-conference tune-ups under new coach Moser ahead of the Big 12 game’s start on January 1.

STRIPE ON

Arkansas had won 17 straight regular season games since last season. His last loss was also in Oklahoma, by four points at Oklahoma State on Jan.30, 2021.

MOMENTUM SWINGS

The Sooners brought Arkansas back into the game in both halves. The 13-0 opening volley set the tone for the first half, then OU quickly rebuilt their lead to 15 in the second half with an 11-2 run

FOLLOWING

Arkansas: Play Hofstra on December 18 in North Little Rock.

Oklahoma: Returning home to play at UT Arlington on December 18th.

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