Arkansas hopes for crisper play vs. Lipscomb

Arkansas will have to be better than it’s been in its first three games if it wants to continue its early-season success in a Saturday matchup with Lipscomb at Fayetteville, Ark.

Yes, the Razorbacks have begun the season with three wins in three games, the most recent a 72-60 victory over UT Arlington on Wednesday.

But there is plenty of room for improvement for Arkansas, and it will need to step things up, especially in late-game scenarios, to beat Lipscomb (1-2), the preseason favorite to win the Atlantic Sun Conference.

Arkansas was never in danger of losing to UT Arlington but scored just six points over the final 10 minutes. The Razorbacks shot 2 of 17 on their final 11 possessions.

“We’ve got to finish games better than that,” Arkansas coach Eric Musselman said. “(We need) better execution and better finishing around the rim. When you grab an offensive rebound and there’s five defenders next to you, maybe kicking the ball out instead of throwing it up at the rim when it’s got no chance to go in the basket. That might help.”

Freshman guard Moses Moody led the Razorbacks against UT Arlington with 24 points while Jalen Tate added 14 and Connor Vanover 12.

Arkansas was also outscored 18-8 in bench points.

“I have no doubt that if I would have played seven guys that we would have won by 20,” Musselman said. “But we played some guys that were struggling and let them try to play through it. Sometimes you let players play through struggles and then you don’t have to worry about the next game getting them in the game.”

Lipscomb heads to the Ozarks with a two-game losing streak, the latest setback a 67-55 loss at Cincinnati in which the Bisons led for nearly 30 minutes before running out of steam.

Junior guard Greg Jones and grad transfer guard Romeao Ferguson tallied 12 points apiece and were the only Lipscomb players in double figures. Jones has scored in double figures in three consecutive games.

The Bisons had a season-low nine 3-point attempts and made just three treys, also a season-low. Lipscomb was outrebounded 35-28 and committed a season-worst 19 turnovers.

“Obviously we’re disappointed in the last eight minutes,” Lipscomb coach Lennie Acuff said. The bottom just fell out, we just couldn’t score down the stretch and, you know, we really just ran out of gas. But I’m not going to take anything away from our guys — they played your tails off all night. It’s just we’ve been through a tough stretch, like a lot of people.”

Saturday’s game is the fourth in a five-game road trip to start the season for Lipscomb. After a Monday contest at Southeast Missouri State, the Bisons will play seven straight games at home.

–Field Level Media

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