WHY ARKANSAS WON: The Razorbacks knew they had a big advantage in depth against Mississippi State’s depleted roster and took advantage of it in the 96-70 win. Coach Mike Anderson started the game by substituting in waves during the first half, sending five fresh players on the court at times against a team that only had nine available Wednesday. It helped the Razorbacks overwhelm the Bulldogs in the second half, turning 29 MSU turnovers and 11 blocked shots into breakaway dunks in their eighth-largest win in an SEC game.
WHY MISSISSIPPI STATE LOST: Mississippi State entered Wednesday’s game leading the SEC in turnovers (17.2 a game) and were well above it Wednesday. MSU committed 29 turnovers in the game, leading to 42 Arkansas points in a 26-point loss. Coach Rick Ray called it a "ridiculous" amount of turnovers. In fact, it was the most MSU has committed since turning it over 31 times in a loss to Kentucky in 1997.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Arkansas forward Marshawn Powell continued his strong stretch, collecting 17 points Wednesday night. Once again, the recently-named team captain helped set the tone early by scoring eight of Arkansas’ first 14 points. Powell has scored 16 or more points in Arkansas' last four games.
STAT OF THE GAME: The Razorbacks had impressive ball movement in the halfcourt offense early, notching six assists on its first six buckets. They had 12 assists on their 14 field goals in the first half. The crisp passing led to some easy buckets for a team that had been struggling offensively in SEC play. Arkansas finished with 27 assists on 33 field goals in the win. Point guard Fred Gulley led the way with five assists. Rickey Scott added four.
QUOTE OF THE GAME: ““At times it felt like there were more than five of us out there.” — Gulley on the Razorbacks’ pressure Wednesday night.
YOUNG DOESN’T START: Arkansas coach Mike Anderson shuffled his starting lineup once again, putting Ky Madden on the floor in place of leading scorer BJ Young. Anderson said he simply wanted to see a different starting unit. Madden earned his 10th start and first since Dec. 20. But Young didn’t stay on the bench long, entering the game during a five-man substitution at the 14:47 mark. Young finished with 13 points in 17 minutes Wednesday.
UP NEXT: Arkansas goes back on the road to play at South Carolina, which fell to 1-4 in conference games after a 71-65 loss at Missouri on Tuesday night. The Gamecocks, who are led by Brenton Williams (12.2 points a game) and Lashay Page (11.7 ppg), are in their first season under coach Frank Martin. Arkansas is 14-10 against the Gamecocks, but has lost two straight in Columbia, S.C. Both of those losses were in overtime during the 2008-09 and 2010-11 seasons.
— Robbie Neiswanger • Arkansas News Bureau