MSU’s rally attempt falls short

Arkansas' Alandise Harris drives past Mississippi State's Roquez Johnson. (AP Photo/Jim Lytle)

Arkansas’ Alandise Harris drives past Mississippi State’s Roquez Johnson. (AP Photo/Jim Lytle)

By Logan Lowery

Daily Journal

STARKVILLE – One streak ultimately had to come to an end.

Missisisppi State had dropped its last eight games overall while Arkansas had lost 12 straight games inside Humphrey Coliseum entering Saturday.

Although the Bulldogs led briefly and battled back from a 15-point second half deficit, it was MSU that saw its skid continue with a 73-69 setback.

“I’m disappointed with the loss,” said MSU coach Rick Ray. “I thought we did some good things out on the court to have some success against Arkansas. I thought we did a really good job against the press attack but had couple of turnovers that came in bunches.”

The Razorbacks (18-9, 7-7) shot the ball exceptionally well behind the arc in the first half, hitting four of their first five shots from the perimeter building an 11-point advantage 15 minutes into the game.

Arkansas finished the game with eight 3-pointers including three by Anthlon Bell off the bench. Bell, who had scored just four points in the last seven games, totaled a career-high 19 points in 17 minutes off the Hogs bench.

“He’s been practicing well and it was just one of those things where he took his practice into the game,” Arkansas coach Mike Anderson said.

The Razorbacks shot 43.8 percent from the field and have now won five of their last six outings. Michael Qualls added 15 points for Arkansas.

The Bulldogs trailed 39-35 at halftime but saw the deficit swell to 15 by the 6:45 mark of the second half. State cut the lead to four in the final minute but were unable to finish the rally before the final horn sounded falling to 3-11 in SEC play and 13-14 overall.

The Bulldogs shot 44.1 percent for the game and outrebounded Arkansas 43-36 but could not overcome 16 turnovers.

Colin Borchert totaled a game-high 21 points in 31 minutes off the bench, burying 5 of 6 from 3-point range.

“I played pretty good today but I want to do whatever it takes for us to try and get a win,” Borchert said. “We’ve got to get over this hump and get a win somehow.”

Roquez Johnson had 11 points for Mississippi State while Trivante Bloodman and Craig Sword finished with 10 points each.

The Bulldogs will be back in action Wednesday, hosting Tennessee at 7 p.m.

logan.lowery@journalinc.com