FAYETTEVIILE – Jimmy Whitt Jr., scored 17 points while Isaiah Joe and Mason Jones each added 16 to lead Arkansas to a 69-61 victory over Austin Peay Tuesday night at Bud Walton Arena. With the win, the Razorbacks improve to 8-0 for just the 12th time in 97 years of basketball and the first time since 1997-98.
Both teams shot the ball well. Arkansas made 47.8 percent of its field goals, shot 39.1 percent from 3-point range – its best since the season opener – and made 16-of-18 at the free throw line. Austin Peay shot 41.5 percent from the field, 31.6 from 3-point range and was 11-of-13 at the line.
The Razorbacks forced 21 turnovers but committed 20. Arkansas entered the game seventh in the NCAA in forcing turnovers and led the SEC in committing the fewest turnovers.
The difference in the game came down to a 9-0 Arkansas run late in the first half (4:47) to give the Hogs a lead it would keep the rest of the game. Ethan Henderson helped spark that run by throwing down a dunk
Terry Taylor led the Governors with 20 points. Antwuan Butler added 11 and Jordyn Adams 10. Eli Abaev pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds to help Austin Peay out-rebounds the Razorbacks 30-27.
Arkansas hits the road for the second time this year to face Western Kentucky on Saturday (Dec. 7). Tip-off is set for 6:30 pm and the game will be telecast on CBS Sports Network.
FIRST HALF: Arkansas 34 – Austin Peay 30
• The game was tied 7-7 before Jalen Harris hit a 3-pointer at the top of the key at 14:29.
• Arkansas went on a scoring drought after that. Harris then broke another tie (13-13) with a 3-pointer at 8:02.
• The game was tied, 18-18, until Mason Jones made an acrobatic layup with 5:47 to give Arkansas a lead it would not relinquish.
• Ethan Henderson came off the bench with Austin Peay on the free throw line. The Govs made two and Arkansas went down one (17-16). Henderson provided a spark during a 9-0 run – putting the Hogs up 25-18 – with a dunk, three blocks and three rebounds.
• Arkansas made 4-of-its-last-5 shots from the field, but Austin Peay made its last three as the Razorbacks took a 34-30 into the locker room.
• Mason Jones led the Hogs with 10 first-half points. Isaiah Joe finished with nine, including a 4-point play late in the half.
• Arkansas shot 57.1 percent from the field in the first half – the best percentage of any half by the Hogs this season – and made 54.5 percent (6-of-11) from 3-point range.
SECOND HALF: Like the first half …. Arkansas 35 – Austin Peay 31
• Austin Peay struck first in the second half, to make it a two-point game, but that is as close as the Governors would get.
• Arkansas got a dunk by Jimmy Whitt at 4:37 for the Razorbacks’ first double-digit lead (59-49).
• Arkansas led by as many as 13 in the second half – thanks to a 7-0 run – after a Desi Sills 3-pointer at 2:08.
• Arkansas was 12-of-13 at the charity stripe in the second half, compared to 3-of-4 by Austin Peay.
• Arkansas’ starting lineup was Jimmy Whitt (G) – Isaiah Joe (G) – Desi Sills (G) – Mason Jones (G) – Adrio Bailey (F) for the sixth time this season.
• Arkansas lost the tip for the third time this season.
• For just the second time this season, Arkansas did not score first.
• Arkansas has led at the half in all eight games and has only trailed once in the second half this season – once for 20 seconds at Georgia Tech.
• For the fifth time this season, Jimmy Whitt Jr. scored Arkansas; first points (17:57). Arkansas is 5-0 when Whitt scores the razorbacks’ first points. Arkansas is 3-0 when Whitt is the team’s leading scorer.
• Arkansas is 5-0 all-time versus Austin Peay.
• Isaiah Joe finished with six rebounds. He has had at least five boards five times this season. He only had 5+ rebounds in 34 games last season.