LIVE UPDATES: Arc of Chris Beard’s Last Year Shows Winning Cures All Ahead of Arkansas vs Ole Miss

Eric Musselman, Chris Beard, Arkansas basketball, Arkansas vs Ole Miss
photo credit: Arkansas Athletics / Ole Miss Athletics

The Rebels made one of the more controversial moves of the offseason by bringing in Chris Beard and, at least on the court, it seems to be paying off ahead of Wednesday’s Arkansas vs Ole Miss matchup.

Led by its first-year coach, Ole Miss went undefeated in non-conference play and climbed into the AP Poll before falling out with back-to-back losses last week. Despite being picked 10th in the preseason, the Rebels are 15-3 overall and 2-3 in SEC play.

They’ve already exceeded last year’s win total in a 12-21 season that resulted in the firing of Kermit Davis with three games remaining in the regular season and need just one more SEC win to match last year’s conference win total.

Needless to say, Beard has turned the Ole Miss basketball program around quicker than many expected and it seems fans of the Rebels have been quick to look past or forgive their coach for the actions that made it possible for Ole Miss athletics director – and Perryville native – Keith Carter to hire him.

Beard had Texas basketball rolling, but was fired after he was arrested on felony domestic violence allegations from his now ex-fiancée. The charge was eventually dropped and the case dismissed when his fiancée retracted her statement, but Ole Miss’ move to hire him was still met with criticism.

Fast forward about 10 months and most of the focus has been on the Rebels’ dramatic turnaround. Winning has a way of doing that.

Arkansas basketball coach Eric Musselman has not experienced anything close to a scandal like that during his time in Fayetteville, but he is in the middle of what has been his most challenging season of his five-year tenure.

The Razorbacks are 1-4 in SEC play with four double-digit losses and one win on a buzzer beater after squandering a 20-point lead. There isn’t much hope for a turnaround, but if they can find a way to win a couple games they aren’t supposed to – like on the road against Ole Miss or Saturday’s showdown with Kentucky – they might be able to salvage this season. Certainly, knocking off No. 1 seeded Kansas in the second round of last year’s NCAA Tournament salvaged the postseason last spring.

Indeed, winning cures all.

Follow along for updates, stats and highlights from the Arkansas vs Ole Miss game, which tips at 8 p.m. CT and is televised on ESPNU…

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

LIVE UPDATES – Arkansas vs Ole Miss

14:59, 1H – Ole Miss 12, Arkansas 4

With a new-look lineup and without their best player (Tramon Mark), the Hogs got off to yet another incredibly slow start. They got down 10 early as they went 1 of 4 shooting with three turnovers on their first seven possessions.

10:59, 1H – Ole Miss 21, Arkansas 9

The Rebels are pretty much doing whatever they want on offense, shooting 8 of 16 (50%) overall and 3 of 5 (60%) from deep. They’ve also grabbed three offensive rebounds leading to five points.

6:50, 1H – Ole Miss 28, Arkansas 14

Arkansas has committed 10 turnovers already. The Rebels have more points off turnovers (17) than the Hogs have total points (14). Ole Miss is now shooting 55% (11 of 20) from the floor and 66.7% (4 of 6) from deep.

2:58, 1H – Ole Miss 29, Arkansas 23

Signs of life? Arkansas is on a 9-1 run and has pulled within six points. It has had a chance to pull closer, but couldn’t do it. Ole Miss has missed its last six shots.

HALF – Ole Miss 38, Arkansas 26

After pulling within six points, the Hogs were outscored 9-3 to make it a 12-point margin at halftime. Khalif Battle and Keyon Menifield Jr. have 7 points apiece for Arkansas.

13:17, 2H – Ole Miss 53, Arkansas 34

At the start of the half, it was announced on the ESPNU broadcast that Trevon Brazile will miss the second half because of a knee injury.

It’s been much the same for Arkansas in the second half. It is just 3 of 13 (23.1%) from the floor, while Ole Miss is shooting 50% (7 of 14) since halftime.

11:46, 2H – Ole Miss 57, Arkansas 38

Matthew Murrell is up to 16 points for Ole Miss, plus he has two assists and two blocks.

7:55, 2H – Ole Miss 63, Arkansas 43

The Rebels have stretched their lead to 20 again and Khalif Battle had to be helped off the court with an injury. He’s the Hogs’ leading scoring today with 11 points.

6:08, 2H – Ole Miss 69, Arkansas 43

Eric Musselman calls a timeout with Ole Miss on a 10-0 run. The Hogs have gone 3 minutes and 40 seconds without scoring.

FINAL – Ole Miss 77, Arkansas 51

FINAL STATS

HALFTIME STATS

Starting Lineups

NOTE: Tramon Mark is unavailable because of migraines.

Ole Miss BasketballArkansas Basketball
#5 – Jaylen Murray – G#1 – Keyon Menifield Jr. – G
#7 – Allen Flanigan – G#4 – Davonte Davis – G
#11 – Matthew Murrell – G#0 – Khalif Battle – G
#4 – Jaemyn Brakefield – F#7 – Denijay Harris – F
#33 – Moussa Cisse – C#8 – Chandler Lawson – F

How to Watch Arkansas vs Ole Miss

Date: Wednesday, Jan. 24

Location: The Sandy and John Black Pavilion (Oxford, Miss.)

Tipoff Time/TV: 8 p.m. CT (ESPNU)

ESPN BPIOle Miss has a 71.5% chance to win, favored by 6.2 points.

Odds/Betting Line: Ole Miss, -6.5 | O/U 150.5 (BetSaracen)

SEC Basketball Midweek Schedule/Results

Tuesday

  • South Carolina 79, Kentucky 62
  • Texas A&M 63, Missouri 57

Wednesday

  • LSU at Georgia – 5:30 p.m. CT (SECN)
  • Auburn at Alabama – 6:30 p.m. CT (ESPN)
  • Mississippi State at Florida – 7:30 p.m. CT (SECN)
  • Arkansas vs Ole Miss – 8 p.m. CT (ESPNU)

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Our own Andrew Hutchinson, and host Jackson Fuller, discuss the struggle of Arkansas basketball in the latest episode of Hoggin’ the Mic:

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More coverage of Arkansas basketball and Arkansas vs Ole Miss from BoAS…

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