LIVE UPDATES: Update on Suspension Rumors for 2 Razorbacks in Arkansas vs Georgia

Khalif Battle, Arkansas basketball, Arkansas vs Georgia
photo credit: Craven Whitlow

FAYETTEVILLE — Despite rumors of suspensions making the rounds on social media and message boards this week, the Razorbacks won a close one at close to full strength in Arkansas vs Georgia.

While Trevon Brazile is still out with knee soreness, the rest of the team went through pregame warmups and some of those who had been essentially MIA showed out against the Bulldogs in a hard-fought 78-75 win.

Davonte Davis, who returned to the team this week after stepping away from the program for three games, played the role of distributor, racking up three assists and four rebounds. He made the only field goal, a three-pointer, he attempted. Afterward, Arkansas basketball coach Eric Musselman said he had come into practice this week with renewed vigor.

“We wear whatever those jackets are called where you can monitor work load and he really busted his behind this week to play catch-up a little bit from a conditioning standpoint,” Musselman said afterward. “He did ask to come out tonight, which (laughs) since I’ve been coaching him, that’s the first time I can ever remember him asking to get a quick blow.”

Khalif Battle and El Ellis, both of whom were rumored to be suspended, both played.

Battle chipped in a foul and miss of a corner three attempt in a brief appearance, but El Ellis started and was huge, pouring in 15 points on 3 of 6 three-pointers, 5 rebounds and 3 assists. He also might have had his best defensive game as a Razorback with 3 steals, included a vital one down the stretch that helped Arkansas fend off the Bulldogs as they clawed back.

“Actually, El Ellis defended their 4 for probably about 20-22 minutes tonight,” Musselman said, referring to Georgia’s Jabri Abdur-Rahim and and RJ Melendez. “I thought he did a great job defending the 4 and we didn’t get hurt in the post at that position at all.”

Plus, Ellis only lost the ball once.

That’s a shift in the way things had been going lately, considering the five turnovers that Ellis committed in the loss to Kentucky, which led to DNPs vs Missouri and LSU.

Battle’s playing time, meanwhile, has dipped of late, including just 9 first-half minutes at LSU. He didn’t play at all in the second half because of a coach’s decision. On Friday, Battle seemingly downplayed the rumors involving him with this tweet:

Devo Davis’ starter-like minutes were in line with what Musselman told reporters on Friday. He said Davis’ his conditioning was good and that he could play like normal (28.9 minutes per game) if the situation called for it.

Below you can find updates, highlights and stats from the Arkansas vs Georgia rematch…

(READ OUR POSTGAME PIECE: Nipping a Devo Davis Narrative in the Bud + More from Georgia Win

LIVE UPDATES – Arkansas vs Georgia

13:39, 1H – Georgia 10, Arkansas 6

Chandler Lawson knocked down a couple of early shots, but also picked up two early fouls and had to check out. It wasn’t the worst start for Arkansas on offense, but its defense has allowed several easy buckets for Georgia. Devo Davis was the first player off the bench for the Hogs and received a nice ovation.

11:39, 1H – Georgia 15, Arkansas 10

The Hogs have forced four turnovers, but have also given up six layups. That, plus free throws, accounts for all of Georgia’s scoring so far. It’s also worth noting that Musselman has used 10 different players already.

7:41, 1H – Georgia 19, Arkansas 19

The Hogs have managed to tied it up a couple of times, first with a Devo Davis 3 that made it 15-15 and then with a fastbreak layup by Keyon Menifield that started with him blocking a 3-point shot. If the Hogs can just keep the Bulldogs out of the paint, they’re good. Georgia is 7 of 9 on layups, but 0 of 8 on everything else, including five misses from deep.

3:53, 1H – Arkansas 27, Georgia 20

El Ellis scores on a drive and reverse layup to make it a 12-1 run for Arkansas and Georgia calls a timeout. The Bulldogs have resorted to chunking up 3s on their end of the floor and they’re 0 of 11 from deep. Their last six shots have been from beyond the arc. They haven’t taken a layup since the 9:50 mark, which is notable because they’re 7 of 9 on layups and 0 of 15 on everything else.

HALF – Arkansas 34, Georgia 29

First off, yes, this actually happened:

The Bulldogs finally got back to attacking the basket – and finally knocked down a 3 – to cut into the deficit, which actually reached 10 at one point. Jalen Graham leads the Hogs with 10 points on 4 of 7 shooting.

18:21, 2H – Arkansas 41, Georgia 32

Absolutely scorching hot start to the half for the Hogs. They’ve got 7 quick points, the latest coming on a deep 3 by Menifield, and Georgia uses an early timeout. Arkansas has also forced a turnover and blocked a shot defensively.

15:45, 2H – Arkansas 47, Georgia 37

The Razorbacks actually stretched their lead to 12 a few times, the first time on a 3 by Ellis. Menifield and Graham are tied with 11 points as the team’s leading scorers. Ellis is having a nice all-around game with 8 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and only 1 turnover in 22 minutes.

11:57, 2H – Arkansas 51, Georgia 46

Georgia has gone to an extended zone trap defense and it’s giving Arkansas fits. That’s allowed the Bulldogs to get back into the game. Still, the Hogs are 6 of 8 from the floor. They’ve also already drawn four fouls, with several coming in the last few minutes.

9:14, 2H – Arkansas 55, Georgia 51

After shooting 1 of 12 from deep in the first half, Georgia made back-to-back 3s to pull within two points before a nice answer by the Hogs.

7:43, 2H – Arkansas 55, Georgia 53

Arkansas is still struggling against that new defensive look by the Bulldogs. It has six turnovers this half after committing only four the entire first half.

5:29, 2H – Arkansas 61, Georgia 59

Four straight missed free throws by Arkansas, plus a pair of made freebies by Georgia, tied this thing up at 55-55 – the first tie since it was 19-19 with about 8 minutes left in the first half. However, a mid-range bucket by Mark has given the Hogs the lead before a Georgia timeout.

3:37, 2H – Georgia 66, Arkansas 65

The Bulldogs finally took the lead again on a 3 by Dylan James – their first lead since it was 19-17. However, Mark will be shooting free throws when play resumes.

1:41, 2H – Arkansas 72, Georgia 70

The lead has gone back and forth several times, with the latest change coming on a corner 3 by Ellis. That prompted an immediate timeout by Georgia.

FINAL – Arkansas 78, Georgia 75

Georgia forced a turnover and got a decent look at a corner 3 that would have put it up by 1 with about 25 seconds left, but it didn’t fall. Davis got the rebound and was immediately fouled, but made only 1 of 2 free throws. Georgia missed another 3 and this time Mitchell grabbed the rebound with 9.7 seconds remaining. He made both free throws to seemingly ice the victory.

However, Davis fouled a 3-point shooting with 3 seconds left and Georgia made all three. The Hogs had a hard time getting the ball in, but eventually did and Mark made 1 of 2 to really ice it.

See more from Arkansas vs Georgia here:

FINAL STATS

HALFTIME STATS

Starting Lineups

NOTE: This is the 13th different starting lineup combination of the season for Arkansas basketball.

Georgia BasketballArkansas Basketball
#1 – Jabri Abdur-Rahim – G#3 – El Ellis – G
#3 – Noah Thomasson – G#6 – Layden Blocker – G
#4 – Silas Demary Jr. – G#12 – Tramon Mark – G
#11 – Justin Hill – G#24 – Jeremiah Davenport – G
#54 – Russel Tchewa – C#8 – Chandler Lawson – F

How to Watch Arkansas vs Georgia

Date: Saturday, Feb. 10

Location: Bud Walton Arena (Fayetteville, Ark.)

Tipoff Time/TV: 5 p.m. CT (SEC Network)

ESPN BPI: Arkansas has a 51.6% chance to win, favored by 0.4 points.

KenPom: Georgia has a 51% chance to win, favored by a score of 75-74.

Odds/Betting Line: Arkansas, -2.5 | O/U 151.5 (BetSaracen)

SEC Basketball Standings

*entering games on Feb. 10*

TeamSEC RecordOverall Record
1. South Carolina8-220-3
1. Auburn8-219-4
1. Alabama8-216-7
4. Tennessee7-217-5
5. Kentucky6-416-6
6. Florida5-415-7
6. Texas A&M5-414-8
8. Ole Miss5-518-5
9. LSU4-512-10
10. Mississippi State4-615-8
10. Georgia4-614-9
12. Arkansas2-711-11
13. Vanderbilt1-86-16
14. Missouri0-108-15

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Here’s our recap of the first Arkansas vs Georgia matchup this season:

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More coverage of Arkansas basketball from BoAS… 

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