No. 9 Arkansas beats Louisville, 80-54

No. 9 Arkansas beats Louisville, 80-54

The No. 9 Arkansas Razorbacks went ahead 2-0 on the opening possession and never gave up that lead as they cruised to an 80-54 win over the Louisville Cardinals in their first game at the Maui Jim Maui Invitational. The Razorbacks improve to 4-0 on the season and 19-0 in the month of November under head coach Eric Musselman.

freshman guard Anthony Black was brilliant for the Razorbacks, turning in a career-high 26 points and six assists while shooting 9-of-11 from the floor, including 3-of-5 from three-point range. He also knocked down all five of his free throws and recorded a pair of steals on the defensive end.

Ricky Council IV continued his strong start to the season, scoring 15 points and coming away with four steals. Makhel Mitchell put together his best game as a Hog, finishing with 12 points (4-5 FG), six rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks in 20 minutes off the bench.

The Razorbacks smothered the Cardinals defensively. Louisville shot just 37% (16-43) from the floor and finished with 22 turnovers, 16 of which came in the second half. Arkansas put the game away with a 17-0 run in the second half, highlighted by seven steals during a five-minute span.

“Just thought we played really good defense, which is what we’ve done through four games,” Musselman said. “We obviously had a focus on No. 3, Ellis, we had a goal of trying to hold him under 12. Davonte (Davis) did an incredible job on Ellis, but I thought our team defense was really, really good defending the three .”


Devo Davis got things going early for Arkansas with a driving layup on the opening possession. Both teams struggled to get the lid off the basket in the following minutes, but a three-pointer by Jordan Walsh made it 5-0 at the 16:20 mark before the first media timeout.

Louisville’s JJ Traynor scored four points as the Razorbacks continued to struggle offensively, but a Council three-pointer from the left wing made it 8-4 at the 13:06 mark. The Hogs carried an 8-5 lead into the second media timeout as the Cardinals started 2-of-12 from the field.

Black got on the board with a driving dunk at the 11:08 mark and made it 14-7 with a three-pointer on the following possession. The Cardinals cut the lead to two with a quick 5-0 run, but layups by Makhi Mitchell and Council made it 19-13 at the 7:52 mark.

Black began to find a groove in the following minutes, knocking down a step-back jumper and a spot-up three-pointer to extend the Arkansas lead to 11. Council dunked home a lob from Davis to make it 27-14 at the 4 :50 mark, capping off at 12-1 run. The Razorbacks carried a 29-18 lead into the final media timeout of the half after Kamari Lands knocked down a jumper for the Cardinals.

Louisville briefly cut the lead to five as Lands went on a 5-0 run by himself, but another three from Walsh ended the Arkansas drought. The Razorbacks got the lead back to 10 after a transition dunk by Makhel, and El Ellis beat the buzzer with a layup for the Cardinals to make it 34-26 going into the halftime break.

Council knocked down a corner three to start the second half for the Hogs, but Ellis answered with a three on the other end of the floor for Louisville. The Cardinals cut the lead to six for a moment before a pair of Black free throws and a layup by Makhi Mitchell made it 43-33.

The Cardinals continued to stick around in the following minutes, but the Hogs kept them at a distance. The lead shrunk to five, but a 6-0 run from Black got the lead back to double digits. Council knocked down a three, assisted by Black, at the 11:56 mark to make it 52-40.

The pace slowed down a bit over the next few minutes as the Hogs continued to frustrate Louisville on the defensive end. Black made a driving layup at the 10:00 mark and then lobbed to Makhel Mitchel for a dunk to make it 57-42 at the next media timeout.

The Razorbacks pulled away with a dominant stretch in the following minutes. The Hogs went on a 17-0 run, highlighted by seven steals over the course of five minutes.


The No. 9 Razorbacks (4-0) will return to action inside the Lahaina Civic Center tomorrow (November 22) against the No. 10 Creighton Blue Jays (5-0). Tipoff is set for 7 pm and will be on ESPN2.

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