KNOXVILLE, TN (UofA) – The Razorback men's basketball team made a big run early in the second half to cut Tennessee's lead to 11 points, but the Hogs couldn't get enough shots to fall in the end as they fell in their contest with the Volunteers, 77-58 in Thompson-Boling Arena.
Arkansas was led by freshman BJ Young, who had 18 points, and freshman Hunter Mickelson, who had 12 points. It's Young's 21st double-figure scoring game of the season, which is good for tops on the team. Mickelson's 12 point output was good for his second-highest of the season as he was 6-for-9 from the field.
"In the first half, we didn't play with toughness," head coach Mike Anderson said. "I was proud of our guys in the second half and the big positive in the game was our defense in the second half. We scratched and clawed, but we didn't do things well enough to win on the road. Hunter (Mickelson) gave us some quality minutes. Tennessee made 11 three-point shots and several were contested, so you have to give credit to them."
The game's early moments were fairly even through the first three minutes, but then Tennessee went on a 19-0 run to really distance themselves from the Razorbacks. Arkansas tried to cut into the Volunteer lead for much of the remainder of the first half, getting some great post points from Mickelson. Eight of Mickelson's 12 points came in the first half. However, Tennessee was very hot from behind the three-point line as they shot 7-of-10 from behind the arc and took a 47-30 lead into the locker room at halftime.
As the second half begun, it was Arkansas who had the hot shooting hand early as Young scored five of the Razorbacks' first seven points. Tennessee responded to the Hog outburst with a Jarnell Stokes dunk, but then a three-pointer by sophomore Mardracus Wade and then another layup from Young, Arkansas was only down 11 with 15:58 to play in the game.
Much of the scoring from there was traded amongst the two teams, as the Hogs never got closer than 11 for the remainder of the game. Tennessee hit some big three-pointers late in game from Skylar McBee and Trae Golden to keep the Volunteer lead to double-digits until time ran out.
Arkansas' shooting for the game stayed right around 43 percent for the game as they were 24-of-56 from the field, but the team struggled from three as they were only 3-of-12. Mickelson had the most solid game of the night as he pulled down five rebounds to go with his 12 points. The Jonesboro, Ark., native also had two blocks in the game to up his total for the season to 64.
The 18 points from Young was his fifth-highest output of the season as he was 1-for-2 from three-point land and 3-of-4 from the free-throw line.
Arkansas returns home for its next game as it will face Florida on Saturday in Bud Walton Arena. The game is set to tip-off at 5 p.m.