Neither Texas nor Oklahoma beat Arkansas last Saturday night at Walton Arena.
Mississippi State did.
Arkansas coach John Pelphrey emphasized the victor’s identity while answering an inevitable question. Did headswelling success from upsetting fourth-ranked Oklahoma and seventh-ranked Texas rendering the Razorbacks ripe for their 70-56 SEC opening loss to unranked Mississippi State?
“I thought those things had nothing to do with it,” Pelphrey said. “I felt they (his Razorbacks) were ready and so did they. They (Mississippi State’s Bulldogs) just played better and coached better. We had no excuses. Mississippi State outplayed us and outcoached us.”
And outshot them 33-9 from the 3-point line, 11 of 27 to Arkansas’ atrocious 3 of 22.
“Mississippi State came out ready to play,” Arkansas freshman guard Rotnei Clarke said, “but it wasn’t because we weren’t ready to play. We came out ready to play. We were prepared. They just had a better night shooting the ball. There are going to be nights where you don’t hit shots, and that’s the way it was tonight.”
Arkansas’ head coach and players extolled Mississippi State’s defense but also talked about the many “open looks” the Hogs had but couldn’t hit.