With leading scorer Mason Jones out against Northern Kentucky on Saturday, Jimmy Whitt Jr. showed his offensive prowess as Arkansas won the Collegiate Hoops Roadshow - Razorback Regional - with a perfect 4-0 mark. Arkansas hopes to continue the ride as it plays its seventh home game of the season when Austin Peay visits Tuesday night.
Whitt, who tied a career high with 24 points on 9-of-15 shooting and added nine rebounds in the 66-60 victory over the Norse, was voted MVP of the tournament, while teammates Desi Sills and Isaiah Joe were named all-tournament. The Razorbacks led by 12 in the second half, but Northern Kentucky got within 61-60 with 24 seconds left before the Razorbacks converted five free throws to seal it. First-year coach Eric Musselman has the Razorbacks playing tenacious defense; they rank 11th in the nation in defensive efficiency (87.7 points per 100 possessions), first in 3-point defense (18.1 percent). third in effective field-goal percentage (2- and 3-pointers, 38.3 percent) and steal percentage (14.8). Austin Peay won its second straight game, 92-66 over South Carolina State on Nov. 25, but both of those victories have been to teams ranked outside the Top 300, while the other win came against Division II Oakland City (Ind.) University.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network
ABOUT AUSTIN PEAY (3-3): Junior guard Terry Taylor (23.3 points, 9.2 rebounds, 1.8 blocks) scored 25 points on 11-of-15 shooting, grabbed eight rebounds and blocked four shots in the win over South Carolina State, while freshman Jordyn Adams (15.5 points) and Eli Abaev added 10 points each. The 6-5 Taylor, who leads the Ohio Valley Conference in scoring and rebounding, passed Josh Robinson and tied Jermaine Savage for 14th all-time in school history with 1,345 career points.
ABOUT ARKANSAS (7-0): With junior guard Jones out with a shoulder injury (18.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.5 steals), Sills had 17 points, Joe added 10 and Reggie Chaney came off the bench to grab a career-high 11 rebounds in 24 minutes. Joe is second on the team in scoring (15.7 points) and leads the team in assists (3.1) and total 3-pointers (22), while the 6-3 Whitt averages 14.3 points and leads the team in rebounds (6.0). Arkansas is 7-0 for the first time since 1997-98, but an overtime win over Georgia Tech on Nov. 25 is the only victory over a team ranked under 100 by KenPom.
1. Whitt had an impressive streak end at the 11:18 mark of the second half against Northern Kentucky when he committed his first turnover in nearly four games - a stretch of 158 minutes and 17 seconds
2. Taylor was First Team All-OVC last season, finishing fourth in scoring (20.5), third in rebounds (8.9) and first in offensive rebounds (111) for the second straight season.
3. The Razorbacks return 71.4 percent of their minutes and 68.8 percent of their points from last season.
Key Players to Watch
Bud Walton Arena
Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA.