LIVE UPDATES: Menifield’s Best-Case Scenario Happened 23 Years Ago

Keyon Menifield Jr., Arkansas basketball, Arkansas vs Lipscomb
photo credit: Arkansas Athletics

The Razorbacks are getting an unexpected boost just ahead of Saturday’s Arkansas vs Lipscomb matchup.

After initially being deemed a walk-on this season, Washington transfer Keyon Menifield Jr. was declared eligible Friday afternoon and will be available to play when the Razorbacks take on the Bisons at 5 p.m. CT inside Simmons Bank Arena in North Little Rock.

Considering his success as a true freshman with the Huskies last season, Menifield could be just what the doctor ordered for a struggling Arkansas basketball team that sits at 6-4 overall.

Click here for an in-depth breakdown of what exactly he brings to the table and how he could help the Razorbacks, from Best of Arkansas Sports’ Brandon Baker.

It wouldn’t be fair to place these same expectations on Menifield, but there is a precedent for Arkansas adding an impact player at the mid-year. That’s just what happened 23 years ago when Joe Johnson got eligible and provided a boost to an Arkansas team that was also 6-4.

The Little Rock Central standout had 16 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 6 steals and 2 blocks while playing 34 minutes in his collegiate debut, a dominant 102-59 win over Alcorn State.

That didn’t exactly start a dramatic turnaround for Arkansas, as it still went just 15-14 during the regular season, but Johnson played a key role in the Razorbacks’ surprising run to the SEC Tournament championship that clinched them a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

A few years before that, Corliss Williamson missed the start of his freshman season and also entered the mix mid-year. The circumstances were different than Johnson, as he was injured, but his impact was similar.

Williamson averaged 14.6 points and 5.1 rebounds while helping the Razorbacks reach the Sweet 16.

Arkansas doesn’t need Menifield to play like Johnson or Williamson, both of whom were first-round picks and are considered Arkansas basketball legends, but he should still be a positive addition for the Razorbacks the rest of this season.

Follow along below for updates from his debut, including score updates and highlights from the Arkansas vs Lipscomb matchup…

(READ NEXT: Check out our in-depth preview of the Arkansas vs Lipscomb matchup)

LIVE UPDATES — Arkansas vs Lipscomb

Preseason Tidbits

The Arkansas women’s basketball team faced Samford earlier in the day at Simmons Bank Arena and won 68-54.

Interestingly, Joseph Pinion has been inserted into the starting lineup for the first time this year.

14:50, 1H – Arkansas 9, Lipscomb 8

It’s not been a great start for Arkansas. After Davenport missed a mid-range shot, the Hogs couldn’t secure a defensive rebound and it eventually led to a 3 by Lipscomb.

Arkansas turned it over on its next possession, but got it back via turnover.

Davis got the scoring started with a layup, but Lipscomb answered with a 3.

After yet another turnover by the Hogs, they got a 3 from Davenport on their next possession.

A couple of buckets inside by Mark and Mitchell – both of whom came off the bench – give Arkansas a 9-6 lead.

Lipscomb started out hot from beyond the arc, but has since air balled two and bricked one.

With five seconds left on the shot clock, Arkansas is bailed out when Davenport drew a foul going to the basket. He’ll be shooting free throws when play resumes.

11:46, 1H – Arkansas 14, Lipscomb 12

After Davenport went 1 of 2 from the line, Mark gave up a drive to the basket for an easy layup that tied the game.

Arkansas answered with a spin move and dunk from Graham. The night time down the floor, Graham backed his man down before putting up and shot and knocking it down. Four quick points for the big man. Then he blocked a shot on the other end.

Now it’s Battle who gives up a drive to the basket. That can’t make Musselman happy.

7:43, 1H – Arkansas 29, Lipscomb 21

Menifield checks in out of the media timeout.

Mark has knocked down back-to-back 3s. Make that three straight. He’s feeling it.

Arkansas had a chance to really extend its lead when Blocker came away with a steal. However, his pass ahead to Menifield was intercepted by Lipscomb.

This is looking like Graham’s best offensive game of the season. He just backed his man down and hit another push shot. That gives him 6 points.

Arkansas couldn’t secure a long rebound and Lipscomb made the most of a second chance, knocking down a 3.

Menifield drove to the basket, but his layup didn’t fall. Luckily for him, Mitchell was there to tip it back in.

A steal by Davenport started a break and he dished it to Mitchell for a layup. That prompted a timeout by Lipscomb.

4:06, 1H – Arkansas 35, Lipscomb 25

Arkansas pushes the pace after securing a rebound and it leads to a dunk by Brazile.

Brazile passed up a 3 and drove to the basket instead. He made the layup through contact for an “and-1” opportunity. He missed the free throw, though. It still pushed the lead to 10, though.

Menifield’s first points came when he grabbed an offensive rebound and laid it back in. Unfortunately, it was marred by a double technical on McCormack for Lipscomb and Davis for Arkansas.

HALF – Arkansas 41, Lipscomb 33

Blocker finishes a tough drive for his first points back in his hometown.

That briefly extended the lead to 12, but Lipscomb answered with a 3 to get it back down to single digits.

Davenport didn’t connect on a fast break 3 and Lipscomb got a 3 on the other end. That cuts the lead down to six and the Bisons immediately called a timeout with 1:50 remaining.

Arkansas tried a lob to Brazile, but he couldn’t complete the oop. Arkansas got the offensive rebound, but Davenport’s mid-range attempt didn’t fall.

On the other end, Lipscomb scored inside to pull within four.

The Razorbacks ended the run with an excellent in bound play that resulted in Mark getting an easy layup cutting to the basket.

Following a turnover by the Bisons, Arkansas ran the clock down and Mark was fouled on a mid-range jumper with 7.8 seconds left. He made both free throws to push the lead back to eight.

Lipscomb missed a 3 at the buzzer.

14:47, 2H – Arkansas 52, Lipscomb 39

Mark replaced Pinion in the starting lineup to start the second half.

The scoring gets started on a Brazile jumper from the elbow.

After a layup by Lipscomb, Lawson knocked down a base line jumper. A 3 by Davenport gives Arkansas its largest lead of the night, 48-35.

A really nice steal by Blocker, hustling back and poking the ball out from behind, led to an easy fast-break layup by Lawson.

Davenport knocks down a corner 3 late in the shot clock.

Really nice defense by Arkansas in the last couple of possessions.

11:57, 2H – Arkansas 59, Lipscomb 39

Graham scored to push the lead to 15, the largest of the night.

Lipscomb promptly turned it back over with a rare 3-second violation.

After missing his first four attempts of the season, Jalen Graham finally knocked down a free throw.

Graham gets another floater to fall, giving him 11 points.

The next time down the floor, Graham backs his man down and then fired a strike to Mitchell for a bucket. Lipscomb calls a timeout.

7:27, 2H – Arkansas 63, Lipscomb 54

Khalif Battle’s first points of the game come with 11 minutes remaining, as he got a tough shot to fall late in the shot clock.

After a 3 by Lipscomb, Mark answered with a mid-range jumper. It’s his first points of the second half.

Lipscomb answered with another 3 and then got a drive to the basket, cutting the Hogs’ lead to 13.

Another layup out of an in-bound play for Lipscomb makes it an 11-point game and then knocked down a transition jumper to make it a 9-0 run. It’s suddenly a nine-point game and Musselman calls a timeout.

3:55, 2H – Arkansas 63, Lipscomb 62

An offensive rebound by Lipscomb led to another bucket inside for the Bisons. It’s a 7-point game.

After a miss by Mark, Lipscomb knocked down a mid-range jumper to make it a 5-point game.

Brazile missed a shot and then Lipscomb drove right by the Hogs for a layup. It’s a 3-point game.

Mark missed a 3 and the Bisons had a couple chances to tie it up, but Brazile blocked a 3 and Lipscomb missed another after a couple of offensive rebounds. Lipscomb was eventually fouled going for another offensive board and made both free throws. It’s a 1-point game.

Arkansas turned it over on its next possession and Lipscomb missed a 3 that would have given it the lead. Brazile got the rebound and was fouled, sending us to the final media timeout.

FINAL – Arkansas 69, Lipscomb 66

Mark threw the ball out of bounds to give Lipscomb the ball back with a chance to take the lead. The Bisons missed a 3, though.

Mitchell scores down low to snap a 17-0 run by Lipscomb.

The Bisons answered with a layup to once again make it a 1-point game.

Mitchell scored down low again to push it back to a 3-point lead.

Arkansas had a chance to add to its 3-point lead, but turned it over and Lipscomb pushed it down the floor. Davenport came running from behind and blocked it, but it was called goal tending. The play went to replay and after a lengthy review, the call was confirmed.

Mark had a mid-range shot go halfway down, but it didn’t fall. Luckily for Arkansas, the same thing happened to Lipscomb on the other end.

Davis pushed the pace and got a tough drive to the basket to fall. Huge shot for the Hogs, as it makes it a 3-point game. Lipscomb called a timeout with 23 seconds left.

Out of the timeout, Lipscomb fired up a 3 and missed. Davis came away with the rebound and was fouled with 10.9 seconds left. They’re still not in the bonus yet, though.

Arkansas got the ball in to Blocker and he was fouled with 7.9 seconds left. He missed the front end of a 1 and 1.

Lipscomb got a good look at a 3 at the buzzer, but missed.



Starting Lineups

Lipscomb BasketballArkansas Basketball
#0 – A.J. McGinnis – G#4 – Davonte Davis – G
#2 – Will Pruitt – G#5 – Joseph Pinion – G
#22 – Joe Anderson – G#24 – Jeremiah Davenport – G
#11 – Owen McCormack – F#2 – Trevon Brazile – F
#35 – Grant Asman – C#8 – Chandler Lawson – F

How to Watch Arkansas vs Lipsomb

Date: Saturday, Dec. 16

Location: Simmons Bank Arena (North Little Rock, Ark.)

Tipoff Time/TV: 5 p.m. CT (SECN+ / ESPN+)

ESPN BPI: Arkansas has a 75.4% chance to win, favored by 7.8 points.


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