Arkansas wins 8th straight, beats Mississippi State 63-55
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — JD Notae scored 14 points, Jaylin Williams added 10 points, nine rebounds and two blocks and Arkansas scored 10 of the final 13 points to beat Mississippi State 63-55 on Saturday night.
Chris Lykes also scored 10 points, including a contested 3 off the dribble with 20 seconds on the shot clock that gave Arkansas (18-5, 7-3 Southeastern Conference) a 61-54 lead with 25 seconds to play.
Stanley Umude converted a three-point play to make it 6-4 fewer than 4 minutes into the game and the Razorbacks never again trailed. Mississippi State (14-8, 5-4) tied the score eight times from there, including three times in the second half — the last of which came when Tolu Smith threw down a dunk to make it 42-all with 11:17 to play. Williams responded with a three-point play just 13 seconds later to spark an 11-2 run and, after the Bulldogs scored eight consecutive points to trim their deficit to 53-52 with 2:07 to play, Williams hit a 3-pointer to ignite a 10-2 run to put the game away.
Iverson Molinar scored 19 points to lead Mississippi State. Garrison Brooks added 12 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks.
Smith, who has struggled with injuries throughout the season and suffered a partially dislocated knee in the last two minutes against Ole Miss on Jan. 22, returned after a three-game absence. The 6-foot-11 junior finished with 11 points, six rebounds, three assists and a block in 27 minutes and made just 2 of 8 from the field but 7 of 9 from the free-throw line.
The Razorbacks have won eight in a row and are allowing just 60.5 points per game during that span. They have held six opponents to fewer than 60 points this season with five of those coming amid their current win streak.
Mississippi State returns home to play No. 22 Tennessee on Wednesday. Arkansas plays host to top-ranked Auburn on Tuesday.
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