Numerous Eric Musselman Connections Highlight Now Common Matchup for Arkansas Basketball

Eric Musselman, Arkansas vs San Diego State, Arkansas basketball
photo credit: Brian Spurlock/KemperLesnik

LIVE UPDATES – Arkansas vs San Diego State

9:54, 1H – San Diego State 18, Arkansas 16

The Razorbacks’ defense hasn’t had as much of an impact on the Aztecs as it has earlier opponents so far, forcing just one turnover in the game’s first 10 minutes. San Diego State is also on fire from the field, shooting over 50%.

It’s also worth noting that Anthony Black, who is off to another great start, picked up his second foul at the 10:01 mark.

HALF – San Diego State 35, Arkansas 26

San Diego State used a 15-1 run to not only take the lead, but stretch it to 13. Most of that happened with Black on the bench with two fouls. He eventually checked back in and he snapped the run with a pair of free throws.

Black checked back in and helped end the run. The Razorbacks cut it down to seven, but that was as close as they could get. Davonte Davis knocked down a mid-range jumper on Arkansas’ final possession to get the margin down to single-digits.

Halftime Stats – Arkansas vs San Diego State

11:02, 2H – San Diego State 49, Arkansas 42

Trevon Brazile knocked down a pair of early 3s to pull Arkansas within three, but San Diego State immediately answered with an 8-0 run over a span of just 1:05, prompting a timeout by Eric Musselman. An old-fashioned 3-point play by Ricky Council IV – who missed his first seven shots of the game – ended that run.

Arkansas is hanging tough, but can’t seem to get closer than a couple of possessions.

Also worth noting: Davonte Davis hasn’t played in the second half so far.

3:48, 2H – San Diego State 61, Arkansas 59

Council threw down a breakaway reverse dunk to pull Arkansas within four.

The Razorbacks pulled within three on a couple of occasions, but each time, the Aztecs answered. The second time, they actually stretched it to an 8-point lead. However, a 3-point play by Council and 3-pointer by Brazile made it a 2-point game at the final media timeout.

END of REGULATION – Arkansas 67, San Diego State 67

The Razorbacks seemingly blew a chance to tie the game with about 30 seconds left when it couldn’t execute a play out of a timeout. Ricky Council’s wild reverse layup was blocked and it resulted in a shot clock violation.

After the Aztecs made a couple of free throws to go up four, it seemed like it was over. But they fouled Black for some reason and he knocked down both free throws. On the ensuing inbounds play, Brazile forced a turnover. After a timeout, Black drove the lane and put up a shot. He missed, but Kamani Johnson grabbed the offensive rebound and put it back in at the buzzer to force overtime.

FINAL – Arkansas 78, San Diego State 74

San Diego State had a chance to tie it up in the closing seconds, but its drive to the basket came up empty and – who else – Kamani Johnson grabbed the rebound. He also knocked down the ensuing free throws with 3.7 seconds left to put Arkansas up by four.

Starting Lineups – Arkansas vs San Diego State

San Diego StateArkansas
#5 – G Lamont Butler#0 – G Anthony Black
#12 – G Darrion Trammell#4 – G Davonte Davis
#20 – G Matt Bradley#1 – G Ricky Council IV
#0 – F Keshad Johnson#13 – G/F Jordan Walsh
#31 – F Nathan Mensah#15 – F/C Makhi Mitchell

Arkansas vs San Diego State Preview

What had been a rare occurrence for an entire generation of Arkansas basketball fans has become a relatively common event under head coach Eric Musselman.

A day after losing to No. 10 Creighton, the No. 9 Razorbacks will look to bounce back from their first loss of the season against No. 17 San Diego State in the Maui Invitationalā€™s third-place game Wednesday night. Tipoff is scheduled for 9 p.m. CT and the game will be televised on ESPN2.

Not only will it be the second straight such game for Arkansas, it will be the 10th top-25 matchup of the Musselman era. The Razorbacks are 5-4 in the previous nine.

That is a significant increase over the previous two decades. Over a span of 21 seasons, which includes the final three seasons of Nolan Richardsonā€™s tenure, Musselmanā€™s first season and the entire tenures of Stan Heath, John Pelphrey and Mike Anderson in between, Arkansas played in just five top-25 matchups and lost all five of them.

Musselmanā€™s San Diego Connection

On top of it being a big-time matchup at the Maui Invitational, Wednesdayā€™s game will have extra meaning to Eric Musselman because of the opponent.

San Diego State is the arch-rival of the University of San Diego, where Musselman played from 1983-87. He also grew up in San Diego.

This will be just the third time the Razorbacks have ever played the Aztecs, beating them in Pine Bluff in 1981 and in Little Rock in 1985, but Musselmanā€™s rivalry with them followed him to Nevada. They were the two premier programs in the Mountain West and San Diego State got the better of the Wolf Pack seven times in 10 matchups.

Another notable connection is that both head coaches ā€” Musselman and San Diego Stateā€™s Brian Dutcher ā€” are the sons of former Minnesota head coaches. In fact, Dutcherā€™s father (Jim) followed Musselmanā€™s father (Bill) at the helm of the Gophers.

Projected Lineup ā€” San Diego State Basketball

#12 – G Darrion Trammell – Sr. | 5-10 | 175

  • STATS: 28.2 min., 14.4 pts., 2.4 reb., 3.4 ast., 2.4 stl.

#5 – G Lamont Butler – Jr. | 6-2 | 195

  • STATS: 26.2 min., 9.2 pts., 1.4 reb., 4.0 ast., 2.6 stl.

#20 – G Matt Bradley – Sr. | 6-4 | 220

  • STATS: 23.4 min., 8.8 pts., 3.4 reb., 1.0 ast.

#0 – F Keshad Johnson – Sr. | 6-7 | 225

  • STATS: 17.2 min., 6.6 pts., 3.4 reb.

#31 – F Nathan Mensah – Sr. | 6-10 | 230

  • STATS: 23.8 min., 7.4 pts., 6.8 reb., 1.8 blk., 1.4 stl.

How to Watch Arkansas vs San Diego State

Date: Wednesday, Nov. 23

Location: Lahaina Civic Center (Maui, Hawaii)

Tipoff Time/TV Schedule: 9 p.m. CT (ESPN2)

Odds/Betting Line: San Diego State, -1.5 | O/U 144.5 (BetSaracen)

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