LIVE UPDATES: Checking the Hogs’ Metrics Ahead of Arkansas vs UNC Wilmington

Eric Musselman, Trazarien White, Arkansas vs UNC Wilmington, Arkansas basketball
photo credit: Arkansas Athletics / UNCW Athletics

FAYETTEVILLE — With conference play just around the corner, the Razorbacks still have quite a bit of work to do on their NCAA Tournament resume, starting with the Arkansas vs UNC Wilmington matchup on Saturday.

It isn’t a big-name opponent, but the final tuneup is arguably the toughest of Arkansas’ mid-major games on its non-conference slate. The Seahawks, which are No. 113 in the latest NET rankings, come to Bud Walton Arena for a 4 p.m. CT tip that will be televised on SEC Network.

Despite that solid ranking, which is the highest of Arkansas’ opponents outside of Memphis, North Carolina, Duke and Oklahoma, UNC Wilmington is still a Quadrant 3 opponent for the Razorbacks. Because the game is in Fayetteville, the Seahawks would need to climb into the top 75 to move into the Quadrant 2 range.

As things currently stand, Arkansas is just 1-3 in Q1/Q2 games. The lone win was over Duke at Bud Walton Arena. That is a large reason behind the Razorbacks checking in at No. 98 in the NET, which is a major metric used by the NCAA Tournament selection committee.

The good news is Arkansas has plenty of opportunities to improve that record. In fact, 10 of the Razorbacks’ 18 SEC games are currently set to be Q1 games, with three more set to be in the Q2 range.

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for UNC Wilmington. Only one of the Seahawks’ conference games is a Q1/Q2 opportunity, and it’s a Q2 road game at the College of Charleston on Feb. 1. That means it’ll be hard for them to climb into the top 75 of the NET and become a Q2 for Arkansas.

Here’s where the Razorbacks rank in a few other metrics…

  • ESPN BPI: No. 73
  • KenPom: No. 66
  • EvanMiya: No. 57

Of course, the only thing that can improve those rankings is winning, which is what Eric Musselman hopes will happen in the Arkansas vs UNC Wilmington matchup. Follow along below for updates…

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

LIVE UPDATES — Arkansas vs UNC Wilmington

14:49, 1H – Arkansas 8, UNCW 8

Arkansas won the tip and Mark got a decent look at a mid-range shot late in the shot clock, but missed. Luckily, Brazile was there to clean up the offensive board and stick it back in through contact. He missed the free throw, though.

After a long 2 by UNCW, Menifield drove and got a tough shot the fall.

The Hogs are doing really well on the offensive boards early on. Davis just grabbed one and then they got a “team” one when the ball bounced out of bounds off UNCW.

Really nice feed from Davis to Menifield cutting to the basket for a layup.

Interesting: Arkansas’ first sub is a full five-man sub. Jalen Graham, El Ellis, Joseph Pinion, Khalif Battle and Denijay Harris check in.

A pretty bad turnover by Graham led to a fast break layup for UNCW.

Pinion is whistled for a foul to send us to the first media timeout. UNCW will be shooting free throws with a chance to take its first lead of the game when play resumes.

11:55, 1H – Arkansas 16, UNCW 15

UNCW went 1 of 2 at the free throw line, but did get the offensive rebound when it missed the second. Luckily for the Hogs, that resulted in an airballed 3.

Arkansas followed with back-to-back buckets. Graham scored down low for the first one and then Ellis took it to the hole for the second.

Graham grabbed the Hogs’ sixth offensive rebound of the game and put it back in to briefly give them a four-point lead. UNCW answered with an offensive rebound of its own and this time it resulted in a 3 – the first by either team.

The Razorbacks are 7 of 16 from the floor, but 0 of 5 from deep. That means they’re 7 of 11 inside the arc.

Both teams have more offensive rebounds than defensive rebounds and have rebounded more than half of their misses.

8:10, 1H – Arkansas 27, UNCW 26

Arkansas promptly gave up an open 3 out of the timeout. Musselman immediately pointed to Davis for him to check back in. He replaces Ellis, which likely indicates who missed the assignment.

After a couple of free throws by Mark to tie it back up, Phillips knocked down a 3. Then, on UNCW’s next possession, he pump faked and drove to the basked for an easy layup.

UNCW has made four straight 3s after missing its first three. They’ve come in a span of about three minutes.

The Seahawks finally missed and it led to a Davis 3 on the other end. That pulled the Hogs within one and then, after Mitchell blocked a shot, Menifield threw a lob to Brazile for a thunderous dunk that got the Bud Walton Arena crowd on its feet. It also led to a UNCW timeout.

3:58, 1H – Arkansas 35, UNCW 35

Arkansas had a chance to extend its lead, but Menifield turned it over on a drive to the basket.

Davis seems to have found his shooting touch, as he just made his second 3 of the game. He’s got 8 points.

Unfortunately for the Hogs, UNCW answered with a 3 of its own, as Van Der Heijden was left wide open on the wing.

Mark picks up his second foul at the 6:39 mark.

Davis drains yet another 3. He’s up to 11 points. It’s the first time since the Memphis game that he’s reached double-figures.

Lawson picks up his second foul at the 5:37 mark.

A bad pass by UNCW led to Battle getting the ball in space with a clear path to the basket, but he got rim-stuffed on the dunk attempt. Arkansas managed to maintain possession and he got a decent look at a corner 3, but missed it, too. He then couldn’t run down the court to play defense. He eventually limped off the court and to the locker room.

HALF – Arkansas 48, UNCW 42

Heck of a sequence by Menifield. After making a tough reverse layup, he hit a 3 from the wing on a play that started with Brazile blocking a shot and included a great pass from Devo.

That briefly gave Arkansas a five-point lead, but UNCW answered with a 3 from White.

After a rebound by Brazile, he pushed the ball ahead and Menifield hit a 3 with a defender in his face. That gives the Hogs a chance at a 2-for-1, as it came with about 55 seconds left in the half. He’s up to 16 points.

The Seahawks missed a 3 on the other end, but once again came away with an offensive rebound when Davenport committed a foul in the paint.

UNCW made both free throws, but Menifield drew a foul for himself on the other end after grabbing an offensive rebound on his own miss. He made 1 of 2.

Menifield leads the way with 17 points, followed by 11 for Davis, who is plus-12 in 16 minutes.

18:26, 2H – Arkansas 53, UNCW 46

Arkansas starts the scoring in the second half. Menifield made a great pass to Mark cutting to the basket. He finished through contact, but couldn’t complete the three-point play, as he missed the free throw.

Another offensive rebound for UNCW gave White an easy layup.

Menifield drove to the basket and also finished through contact. Unlike Mark, he made the free throw to give Arkansas a nine-point lead.

Yet another offensive rebound for UNCW led to another bucket. The Seahawks have 15 second-chance points off of 10 offensive rebounds. They immediately called a timeout after the bucket.

16:00, 2H – Arkansas 57, UNCW 52

Brazile snaps a 6-0 run by UNCW with a hard drive to the basket and finish. He had gotten tangled up with a UNCW player on the previous possession and might have been a little inspired on that drive.

Menifield scores again to give him 22 points.

White is starting to heat up for the Seahawks. He had 9 points in the first half and already has 8 in the first four minutes of the second half.

11:44, 2H – Arkansas 68, UNCW 57

McGriff for UNCW picks up his fourth foul with 14:22 remaining. It came on the offensive end when the Seahawks had a chance to make it a one-possession game.

Instead, Graham used his spin move to score on the other end.

Davis came away with a steal in the paint and took it all the way for a tough finish.

Menifield drew a foul and made both free throws to give Arkansas its first double-digit lead of the night.

Blocker checks in for the first time with 12:07 remaining.

Arkansas had a chance to really bring the house down, but Menifield didn’t connect on a 3. It came after Davis tracked down a tough rebound, fired the ball ahead to Graham, who then passed to Menifield on the wing. It didn’t fall, but Lawson was fouled going for the rebound and then made 1 of 2 free throws.

7:55, 2H – Arkansas 81, UNCW 63

Wow. Blocker made his first free throw attempt and missed his second, but Mark managed to get a hand on it and tip it back in. What a play.

Mark picks up his fourth foul with 10:14 remaining. He has 12 points.

The lead reached 15 at one point, but White answered with a three-point play for UNCW.

On the other end, Menifield threw a perfect lob to Graham, who threw it down and brought the crowd to its feet.

Late in the shot clock, Graham went to work on the block and scored over a defender. He’s up to 12 points to go with five rebounds.

There was a chaotic scramble for the ball, with Blocker diving for it and managing to pass it up to Davis, who found Graham down low for another bucket.

3:51, 2H – Arkansas 87, UNCW 72

Davis finally missed a shot, as his corner 3 didn’t fall, but he followed it and grabbed the offensive rebound. That eventually led to a three-point play by Mark.

Arkansas has gone into its stall-ball offense.

Back-to-back 3s by UNCW pulled it within 13, but Mark answered with a 3 of his own. He’s up to 18 points. That’s how many he’ll finish with, as he fouled out on the next defensive possession.

Menifield was fouled going to the basket late in the shot clock, sending us to the final media timeout.

FINAL – Arkansas 106, UNCW 90

Whew. Another lob from Menifield results in an alley oop. It’s another one by Brazile. That’s Menifield’s fifth assist.

Davis came away with a steal, but Menifield turned it right back over before burning much time off the clock. It resulted in a three-point play on the other end, pulling UNCW within 10.

Menifield makes a pair of free throws to give him 27 points, matching his career high. He then drained a 3 on the next possession, giving him 30 points.

Graham threw down a dunk at the buzzer to make it a 16-point win.



Starting Lineups

UNC Wilmington BasketballArkansas Basketball
#1 Donovan Newby – G#1 Keyon Menifield Jr. – G
#2 Shykeim Phillips – G#4 Davonte Davis – G
#3 Maleeck Harden-Hayes – G#12 Tramon Mark – G
#5 Noah Ross – G#2 Trevon Brazile – F
#21 Khamari McGriff – F#8 Chandler Lawson – F

NOTE: This is Khalif Battle’s first start of the season.

UPDATE: The lineup has changed… Instead, Keyon Menifield Jr. will be making his first start of the year.

How to Watch Arkansas vs UNC Wilmington

Date: Saturday, Dec. 30

Location: Bud Walton Arena (Fayetteville, Ark.)

Tipoff Time/TV: 4 p.m. CT (SEC Network)

ESPN BPI: Arkansas has a 75.1% chance to win, favored by 7.2 points.

Odds/Betting Line: Arkansas, -10.5 | O/U 147.5 (BetSaracen)

SEC Basketball in the NET Rankings

7. Tennessee
10. Alabama
18. Texas A&M
23. Kentucky
24. Auburn
33. Mississippi State
44. South Carolina
52. Florida
60. Ole Miss
97. Georgia
98. Arkansas
108. Missouri
141. LSU
280. Vanderbilt


More coverage of Arkansas basketball and Arkansas vs UNC Wilmington from BoAS…

Facebook Comments