Arkansas is playing some of its best basketball of late and as a result have won its last four games to move to 6-5 on the year, but has its work cut out for it on Tuesday evening when the Razorbacks take on the undefeated Missouri State Bears (10-0) at 7 p.m. at Bud Walton Arena.
The Razorbacks battled back from a five-point halftime deficit on Saturday against Stephen F. Austin to win by three and the 72-69 win pushed the Razorbacks back onto the positive side of .500 for the year. Mike Washington was huge against the Lumberjacks as he scored 25 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead the Razorbacks. The double-double was his second of the season and it was the second consecutive game that the McGhee, Ark., native had scored 20-plus points. Since returning to the court following finals, Washington averaged 23.5 points on 59 percent from the floor, averaged 9.5 rebounds, made four assists, blocked three shots, made four steals and turned the ball over just one time.
Missouri State is undefeated and rolling this season with a solid 73-63 win on the road at St. Louis being the latest notch on the belt. The Bears are already 1-0 against the SEC this season with an opening day victory at home against Auburn, 73-62, and are looking to make it two straight against the Razorbacks after a 62-57 win last year in the first game on the Bears new home court.
Last season's game was all about defense and the 2009-10 Bears hope to play the same game this year. Missouri State has yet to give up more than 75 points this year and over the last four games have kept its opponents to just a 56.5 average. Arkansas has also played solid defense of late, holding its foes to a 56.8 average over its last four games.
The Arkansas-Missouri State game will be broadcast courtesy of the Razorback Sports Network from ISP across the state with Scott Inman and former Razorback Blake Eddins providing the on-air talent. The contest can also be heard on radio across the state of Arkansas on the Razorback Sports Network with Mike Nail and Rick Schaeffer giving the calls. Nail is in his 29th and final season as the play-by-play voice of the Razorbacks.
Looking past the Missouri State contest, Arkansas takes a small break for the holidays and then plays Baylor at Verizon Arena in Little Rock on Dec. 30.