Clemson beat Arkansas 68-65 in overtime during a non-conference match-up on Sunday. Both teams were looking to gain something from this match up. Arkansas was looking to rebound from an embarrassing loss against Iowa State on Thursday while Clemson was trying to gain some momentum in their out of conference schedule as they prepare for SEC play in January.
The first half played very much in Clemson’s favor. Arkansas was taking many quick, undesirable shots and they were not working the clock to their advantage. Clemson took control of the rebounding battle early and firmly established themselves on the offensive glass.
When the second half started, Arkansas had gained some momentum on their side after some great end of the half play by Michael Qualls. Qualls didn’t let up during the second half and was very aggressive in getting to the basket and shooting the ball. Qualls, along with Bobby Portis, had Arkansas in control for most of the second half.
Clemson held their own though and came up with some clutch play, especially from Rod Hall and Jaron Blossomgame, the latter converting two Arkansas turnovers in the final minute to send the game into overtime. Despite a valiant effort, which saw Qualls take a long three at the buzzer, Clemson held on to win.
The Good: Rod Hall went into the second half with three points, and ended the game with 19. He took control for Clemson and was the team’s catalyst for most of the latter half of the game. Bobby Portis is certainly doing his part in proving why he is a first-round NBA talent. Portis put up 18 points and seven rebounds for the Razorbacks and was solid on the defensive end of the ball.
The Bad: While both teams were able to shoot over .440 from the field, it was their three-point shooting which proved to be both of their downfalls, as both teams shot a dismal .286 from beyond the arc.
Tidbits: With the loss, Arkansas falls to 6-2 and has now lost two straight games. The team will likely lose its top-25 ranking when the new polls are released Monday.