BROOKLYN, N.Y. (arkansasrazorbacks.com) — The Arkansas men’s basketball team fell to Georgia Tech 83-73 in the semifinals of the NIT Season Tip-Off Thursday afternoon at the Barclays Canter.
The trio of Dusty Hannahs (17), Anthlon Bell (14) and Moses Kingsley (13) each scored in double figures for the fourth time this season, as the Razorbacks dropped to 2-2 on the year.
After falling behind 26-16 at the 9:09 mark of the first half, Arkansas fought back to take a 36-35 lead seven minutes later following a Willy Kouassi made foul shot. The Yellow Jackets followed with a quick 6-0 run to take the lead back, but a driving layup by Jabril Durham as time expired pulled the halftime deficit within three. Bell reached double digits in the first half for the second straight game, scoring 12 points in the opening stanza on 4-for-5 shooting from behind the arc.
The start of the second frame saw the Yellow Jackets extend the lead to 48-40 on back-to-back threes by Adam Smith. Although a layup by Manuale Watkins with 10:48 remaining saw the Razorbacks climb back to within two points, Arkansas was unable to pull even with GT and ultimately lost by 10 to the ACC opponent.
Kingsley was one rebound shy of his third double-double of the season, finishing with 13 points and nine boards in 23 minutes, before fouling out with 77 seconds left. Hannahs continued his three-point barrage in Brooklyn, as the junior guard went 2-for-3 from long distance to improve to 13-for-19 on the short season. He also drained all five of his foul shots and is now a perfect 16-for-16 as a Razorback with 32 consecutive made shots from the line dating back to his Texas Tech days.
“First, I’d like to congratulate Georgia Tech. Early on, they established that they were going to attack the glass on us and I don’t think we did a very good job of keeping them off the boards. Their experience versus our inexperience was very evident, so this team will continue to grow and learn how to win.” – Mike Anderson
“I thought we had a lot of energy and were moving around well in our press. There were a couple of costly turnovers during that run, that could have really helped us, but as Anthlon said, I thought our energy was great and we just needed to capitalize.” – Dusty Hannahs
• Durham had six helpers to lead the Razorbacks in assists for the fourth time this season.
• Jimmy Whitt added 10 points for the Razorbacks, his third double-digit scoring effort in four games.
• After going 6-for-14 against GT, Arkansas has now made six-plus three-pointers in all four games.
• The Razorbacks held a 16-12 edge in turnovers and have won the turnover battle in all four games this season.
• Kouassi scored five points and blocked two shots, both season highs for the fifth-year senior.
The Razorbacks now await the loser of No. 8/9 Villanova and Stanford in the second game of the doubleheader. Arkansas will play again on Friday, Nov. 27 at 11:30 a.m. CT on ESPNU.