Arkansas (12-5) at Tennessee (11-6)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 22, 8 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Thompson-Boling Arena (21,678) -- Knoxville, Tennessee. Television: SEC Network. Home Record: Arkansas 10-1, Tennessee 8-2. Away Record: Arkansas 0-2, Tennessee 1-3. Neutral Record: Arkansas 2-2, Tennessee 2-1. Conference Record: Arkansas 1-3, Tennessee 2-2. Series Record: Tennessee leads, 17-14.
GAME NOTES: The Arkansas Razorbacks will try to win their first road game of the season on Wednesday night, as they venture to Thompson-Boling Arena for an SEC clash with the Tennessee Volunteers.
Arkansas has run out to an impressive 12-5 record this season, but the majority of its success has come in its home arena (10-1). The Razorbacks slipped to 0-2 in true road games on Saturday afternoon when they dropped a 66-61 overtime decision at Georgia to fall to just 1-3 in conference play, their lone win coming in upset fashion over nationally-ranked Kentucky (87-85).
After winning its SEC opener over LSU on Jan. 7 (68-50), Tennessee has lost two of three to dip to 2-2 in the league. The Vols most recently went to Kentucky and came away with a 74-66 loss, but now they return home to Knoxville where they've won eight of 10 games.
After the teams split last season's two game, with each team winning at home, Tennessee holds a 17-14 advantage in the all-time series.
In what was a sluggish game for both sides, Arkansas tied Georgia with 1:45 left in regulation on a pair of Rashad Madden free-throws, but after the game went to overtime it fell behind 12 seconds in and could never recover. It only managed to make good on 31.8 percent of its field goal tries, including 7- of-23 from 3-point range, and it was manhandled on the glass, losing the rebounding battle, 56-34. Leading the lackluster attack was Coty Clarke with 13 points, while Madden and Fred Gulley each poured in 12 points.
The Razorbacks' lackluster effort over the weekend was especially disappointing considering their outstanding offense this season, as they shoot 46 percent from the field for 83.3 ppg (15th in the nation), 14.5 ppg more than they allow on the opposite end. No one scores more than Michael Qualls' 12.4 ppg, but the team has a deep bench with 11 players scoring at least 2.6 ppg. Joining Qualls in double figures are Bobby Portis (12.1 ppg, 6.6 rpg), Madden (11.7 ppg) and Alandise Harris (10.4 ppg).
The Vols hung tough with Kentucky for a good portion of their most recent contest and even held a two-point lead early in the second half, but they fell victim to a 21-9 UK run as they lost control down the stretch. Their modest field goal percentage (.414) didn't exactly cost them, especially considering their sizable advantage in the rebounding department (39-24), but they were only 2-of-13 from 3-point range and committed a game-high 12 turnovers. Jarnell Stokes dominated down low in the setback, shooting 8-of-12 from the floor en route to 20 points while adding 15 boards. Jordan McRae chipped in 17 points, while Jeronne Maymon netted 12.
Tennessee is usually much more well-rounded, as it outshoots its opponents from the field, 45.4 percent to 41.6 percent, while boasting strong margins in terms of scoring (+11.8), rebounding (+9.4) and turnovers (+1.1). McRae is one of the SEC's most prolific scorers, putting up 18.4 ppg on 45.4 percent from the field and 78.5 percent at the foul line. Clogging the paint is one of the nation's most feared forward duos in Stokes (13.8 ppg, 9.9 rpg) and Maymon (10.9 ppg, 8.2 rpg), who are both double-double threats on any given night.
In terms of talent, these teams are pretty evenly matched, but the Razorbacks simply can't be trusted away from Fayetteville regardless of the opponent, especially not against a strong Tennessee squad.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Tennessee 72, Arkansas 67
01/22 10:39:45 ET