FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) -- Georgia turned up the defensive
pressure and coasted to a rare win at Arkansas.
Ezra Williams scored 19 points and the (No.
22 ESPN/USA Today, No. 20 AP) Bulldogs held
Arkansas to 15 first-half points in an 81-64 victory Saturday.
"We were here two years ago and they pressed us really hard and
came back and won,'' Williams said. "It's different coming back
here and not seeing Arkansas press.''
Jarvis Hayes added 15 points for Georgia (10-4, 2-1 Southeastern
Conference), which won at Arkansas for the first time in six
Eric Ferguson scored 17 points and Kendrick Davis added 15 for
the Razorbacks (5-9, 0-3), who have lost five in a row for the
first time since Nolan Richardson's first year at Arkansas in the
It's also the first time the Razorbacks have lost three in a row
at Bud Walton Arena since it opened in 1993.
"That's sad, it's depressing and embarrassing,'' Arkansas
senior Carl Baker said. "It hurts real bad, but we've just got to
keep a positive attitude and keep trying to get better.''
Georgia had its eight-game winning streak snapped last Saturday
in a 66-63 loss to No. 11 Florida, but had few problems against
The Bulldogs' press frustrated the Razorbacks' young guards as
Georgia took a 33-15 halftime lead. The Razorbacks shot just 23
percent in the half, shooting just 5-of-22 and committing 12 turnovers.
"I think we got them in a hurry-up mode a little bit,'' Georgia
coach Jim Harrick said. "The press was really good to us.''
It was the second straight game Arkansas scored just 15 points
in a half. The Razorbacks shot just 32.1 percent in the second half
of a 52-37 loss to Auburn last Saturday.
The Bulldogs quickly stretched the lead to 52-21 behind 10
points from Hayes, who was 6-of-6 from the field.
"He's been patient and letting the shots come to him,'' Harrick
The Razorbacks bounced back somewhat in the second half with 49
points, their best scoring half of the season. Arkansas committed
just six turnovers, but still shot just 30.8 percent from the field
for the game.
The Razorbacks played with more passion after first-year coach
Stan Heath picked up the first technical foul of his career with
12:58 remaining. Heath charged down the sideline after Davis drove
to the basket and ended up at the base of the goal.
"I was just trying to protect my guy,'' Heath said. "I really
felt there was contact on the play. I was just really frustrated at
the time and no, it was not planned.''
Arkansas didn't cut the lead to under 20 until just 1:08
remained on a 3-pointer by Ferguson.
When Hayes gave the Bulldogs a 14-4 lead with 9:41 to go in the
first half, Arkansas had more fouls -- five -- than points and was
1-of-13 from the field.
Georgia led 28-11 after a 3-pointer by Williams with 3:05
remaining in the half, and Arkansas was 3-of-17 from the field with
"That's a big-time basketball team right there,'' Heath said.
"Hayes and Williams are dynamite from the wing. They just present
so many problems and that's definitely going to be a team that
contends for a championship in our league.''
Isaiah Briscoe has decided to withdraw from the NBA draft and will return to Kentucky for his sophomore season. Marcus Lee intends to transfer.
The Big 12/SEC Challenge will again feature Kansas and Kentucky, this time at Rupp Arena. That's not the only exciting matchup in next season's midseason conference showdown.
Northwestern has never made the NCAA tournament, but the Wildcats' upward trajectory suggests 2016-17 could finally be the season it happens.