Ole Miss traveled to Fayetteville hoping to steal a win against a struggling top-25, but the sheer firepower was too much to remedy for the Rebels.
Ole Miss sought to prove that the South Carolina game was not a fluke, but it was the Razorbacks that showed the nation that they are, in fact, one of the 25 best teams in the country.
Arkansas outlasted Ole Miss and won its second conference game with a score of 69-57, bringing its record to 2-5 in the SEC and 13-6 overall; meanwhile, Ole Miss still sits with only one SEC win and drops to 9-10 on the season.
The game was interesting for the first 20 minutes, as the Rebels held the lead for most of the first half.
Coming off the South Carolina game, there were a lot of questions surrounding whether the Rebels could recreate that type of winning basketball, and going into halftime, those questions were answered by consistent effort and aggression on both offense and defense. However, things fell apart as soon as the second half started.
Arkansas jumped out to a double-digit lead, and the Razorbacks never looked back. Arkansas settled in, while Ole Miss seemed to get out of rhythm after the break.
Arkansas head coach Eric Musselman lit a fire under his very young squad to lead them to their dominant win over Kermit Davis and Ole Miss.
Ole Miss became careless, and Arkansas took full advantage of those mistakes. Any time the Rebels tried to make a comeback or chip at the deficit, Anthony Black, Jordan Walsh or Joseph Pinion, all freshman, would shut those efforts down.
This game had an odd feel because Ole Miss never seemed totally out of it, but at the same time, it was clear that Arkansas would not lose this game. The Razorbacks led by as many as 21 points at the 6:16 mark in the second half, but the Rebels went on a late run to cut that down to just 10 points with a minute to go.
Arkansas went on to win by 12 points, but Ole Miss made the Razorbacks sweat toward the end.
This game truly showed that there are levels to the SEC. Ole Miss and Arkansas held the same conference record coming into this game, but it was quite clear who the better team was. Ole Miss has lost three of its five conference games at home, while Arkansas lost four of its five SEC matchups on the road, so the identical records were circumstantial, and Arkansas proved that.
The analysis is simple: Ole Miss got outplayed by Arkansas, and Davis got outcoached by Musselman.
Ole Miss takes the floor next against Missouri at home on Tuesday, Jan. 24 at 6:00 p.m. CST, another game in which the Rebels can prove themselves as a formidable opponent.