Fayetteville, AR (SportsNetwork.com) - The Arkansas Razorbacks try to get back on track as they welcome the Ole Miss Rebels to Bud Walton Arena for an SEC battle on Saturday night.
The Razorbacks had a seven-game win streak snapped on Tuesday when they suffered a 74-69 setback to the Tennessee Volunteers on the road. Arkansas dropped to 13-3 overall and 2-1 in the SEC standings with the loss. Coach Mike Anderson's squad will now return home where it has won 16 straight and gone 61-6 all-time under Anderson. Arkansas has outscored the opposition, 87.6-67.0, at home this season.
Ole Miss has alternated wins with losses over its last six games, and will try to continue that trend following a 75-71 loss to LSU on Wednesday. The Rebels are just 1-2 in league play, but they took the No. 1 Kentucky Wildcats to overtime in their SEC opener before falling by three and impressed with a 65-49 rout of South Carolina before losing to the Tigers. Coach Andy Kennedy's team is posting 73.6 ppg to rank fourth in the SEC in scoring offense, and it leads the nation in free-throw efficiency (.789).
This will be the 73rd meeting in history between these two schools on the hardwood. Arkansas owns a 42-30 series lead despite losing nine of the last 11 meetings. Kennedy is 10-4 all-time versus the Razorbacks.
The Razorbacks are 9-0 when scoring 80 points or more. Arkansas failed to reach that mark against Tennessee due to an uncharacteristically lackluster offensive showing. The Razorbacks were limited to 45.6 percent shooting from the floor, committed a season-high 18 turnovers and allowed the Volunteers to outscore them, 27-15, off miscues. Bobby Portis and Michael Qualls combined for 32 points, while Anton Beard netted a career-high 12 in the loss. Portis and Qualls are the top scoring duo in the SEC with 33.8 ppg as both rank in the top five. Portis is not only the SEC's leading scorer with 18 ppg, he also ranks fourth in the league in rebounds with eight per outing. Rashad Madden is handing out 5.9 apg to rank second in the conference. Arkansas paces the conference in scoring (83 ppg), makes from beyond the arc per game (7.4), assists (18.2 apg), assist/turnover ratio (1.5) and steals (8.7).
Ole Miss came up short versus LSU primarily because of the atrocious offensive showing by its backcourt. Jarvis Summers, Ladarius White and Stefan Moody combined to go 14-of-45 from the floor, including a 4-of-19 clip from beyond the arc. The trio also accounted for nine of the team's 17 turnovers. M.J. Rhett had a strong outing, as he tallied team-highs of 15 points and seven boards in 28 minutes before fouling out. Moody (14.8 ppg), Summers (13.4 ppg) and White (12.1) are the Rebels' first, second and third-leading scorers, respectively. Their play has been streaky, but they had been excellent in SEC play prior to facing LSU. Moody scored 25 and Summers had 23 in the close loss to Kentucky.