Josh Nebo and Wendell Mitchell combined for 45 points as Texas A&M drove a nail into Arkansas NCAA tournament hopes with a 77-69 win over the Hogs in College Station. A technical foul whistled on Arkansas head coach Eric Musselman with 2:51 left in the game helped seal the win for the Aggies.
A&M opened the scoring on a three pointer by Mitchell but Arkansas quickly took a 5-3 lead on a pair of jumpers by Jimmy Whitt and a free throw by Ethan Henderson. Arkansas was down 9-5 when with 13:33 left in the half when Mason Jones hit downtown three point jumper with an assist by Desi Sills.
The Hogs were down 12-8 when Sills fed Isaiah Joe for a three and it was 12-11 A&M with 11:27 before the break. With the score knotted at 14-14 Jones added another trey and Arkansas was up by three with 8:43 to halftime.
That lead would grow to 28-21 on a two-point shot by Joe with 3:30 left. But A&M would go on a 12-2 run to close the half. Nebo’s layup at the buzzer made it 33-30. A minute into the second half Nebo added another layup for a 35-30 pad. Sills closed the deficit to 38-36 on a pair of free throws with 17:10 remaining.
The Aggies moved out to a five-point lead before Jones added another three but Jay Jay Chandler matched him and it was 46-41 with 13:56 left. The margin grew to ten on a three-point shot by Savion Flagg with just under 9:00 left.
Arkansas came back. A triple by Joe with 4:10 left cut the A&M lead to five. But seconds later Sills fouled out and head coach Eric Mussleman was called for a technical foul as the A&M lead grew to nine after four made free throws.
Jones scored 30 points for Arkansas, the ninth time this season he has equaled or exceeded the 30 point mark. Joe added 22 for the Hogs but forwards Adrio Bailey, Ethan Henderson and Reggie Chaney managed just one point combined on a free throw by Henderson. The Razorbacks were outrebounded in the game 41-25. A&M shot 31 free throws to Arkansas’ 15.
The Hogs ended the regular season 19-12, 7-11 in SEC play.