Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Abilene Christian Wildcats Pick & Prediction DECEMBER 21st 2023

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Arkansas will try to win for the fourth time in its past five games Thursday night when it matches up against visiting Abilene Christian in Fayetteville, Ark.

After a shaky stretch in November, the Razorbacks (7-4) have rebounded in their recent run, including an 80-75 victory over then-No. 7 Duke on Nov. 29.

On Saturday against Lipscomb, coach Eric Musselman’s group led by 20 points in the second half but had to endure a 17-0 run by the Bisons to hang on for a nervy 69-66 win.

Musselman said he gave his seasoned squad a long leash when it was ahead by nearly two dozen points, but the confidence he showed nearly led to a disastrous defeat.

“In the past we’ve done a really good job of milking the shot clock when we get up like that,” the fifth-year Arkansas coach said. “A lot of people don’t understand it. Tonight’s a great example of why you do it.

“I let them play. Should have clock-managed better. Again, you think with a veteran team you’ll be able to get good shots on goal. That wasn’t the case tonight.”

The backcourt tandem of Tramon Mark (16.1 points per game) and Khalif Battle (15.1) tops the Razorbacks in scoring.

The Wildcats (5-6) sport a losing record early on, but the Western Athletic Conference club has earned two straight wins — against UTEP and Division III Howard Payne.

In the win over UTEP and former ACU coach Joe Golding, the Wildcats took advantage at the foul line, going 34-for-48 while the Miners were 25-for-36.

“I mean, they shot 36. We made 34,” coach Brette Tanner said. “That’s the key to the game. We knew it was going to be a rock fight.

“We were both attacking the rim at will. We saw how the game was going to be called. If you were attacking, the rim, the officials were going to reward you.”

Three ACU players tally in double figures — Ali Abdou Dibba (13.8 points), Airion Simmons (13.1) and Hunter Jack Madden (11.5).

–Field Level Media

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