No. 20 Mississippi Holds Off Arkansas, 53-48
Jan. 10, 2001
By HARRY KING
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Mississippi shot poorly for 16 minutes in the first half and survived because Arkansas shot even worse for the final five minutes of the game Wednesday night.
Jason Holmes beat the shot clock with a 3 from the corner that put No. 20 Mississippi ahead to stay with 4:16 to play and the Rebels beat Arkansas 53-48 for their second consecutive Southeastern Conference road victory.
Holmes' basket came with 4:16 to play and put a damper on a crowd that got worked up after Jannero Pargo's 3-pointer tied it at 42.
Mississippi (14-1, 2-0 SEC) trailed by 12 in the first half after missing 19 of its first 23 shots. Arkansas (9-5, 0-2) went more than eight minutes without a field goal in the second half before Pargo hit his 3-pointer.
During the final five minutes, Arkansas was 2-of-14 and a dozen of those shots were 3s.
Both coaches agreed that the final minutes of the first half were critical.
Alonzo Lane rolled around Rahim Lockhart for a left-handed scoop shot and added two free throws as Arkansas' lead climbed to 24-12 with 3:48 to play in the first half. But Lockhart got inside for his third basket and Aaron Harper made two straight 3s as the Rebels cut the lead to 24-20 at the half.
"The key was the end of the first half," said Mississippi coach Rod Barnes. "Every time you can sneak a win, it's going to be great."
"We were up 24-12 at one time, then they get a couple of quick 3s," said Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson. "We're not hitting on all cylinders. The most horrifying thing to me is that we are turning the ball over entirely too much."
Arkansas had 16 turnovers, three more than the Rebels.
After David Sanders scored in the lane to make it 48-42, the Razorbacks missed 3-pointers on their next three possessions.
Then, Dionisio Gomez missed four straight free throws and Blake Eddins misfired twice from long range for Arkansas.
Brandon Dean also missed a 3 before he made one that cut it to 49-45 with 38 seconds to play. Dean made another 3 with 8.6 seconds that made it 51-48.
Sanders, who led the Rebels with 12 points, added two free throws for the final margin. Lockhart and Harper scored 11 each.
Arkansas' Joe Johnson, picked in the preseason as the SEC's player of the year, shot 2-of-11 and had four turnovers. "Joe had as many turnovers as points," Richardson said.
Lane, who led Arkansas with 17, scored two straight baskets as Arkansas built a 35-27 lead early in the second half, but the Rebels scored the next nine and took their first lead since 4-2.
"We did it again, we outplayed another team and they took over at the end," Lane said. "We can't seem to finish a game right now."
In the first half, Arkansas ran off eight straight for a 12-4 lead.
Arkansas' lead reached double digits for the first time when Johnson drove the baseline, attracted a crowd and passed to the corner for Eddins' 3-pointer that made it 19-9.
With 3:48 left before halftime, the Rebels had shot only 4-of-23 from the field.
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