GAME NOTES: The Arkansas Razorbacks try to rebound from their first loss of the season when they challenge the Wisconsin Badgers as part of the championship round in the 2012 Las Vegas Invitational.
Arkansas had rattled off three straight victories to begin the 2012-13 campaign, topping the likes of Sam Houston State, Longwood and Florida A&M, but that was before Friday. Against Arizona State yesterday, the luck ran out for the Razorbacks as they dropped an 83-68 final in the third round of this event.
Meanwhile, the Badgers also had some patsies on the early portion of their schedule as they defeated Southeastern Louisiana, Cornell and Presbyterian, with a loss at Florida mixed in. On Friday, the team was also in action in this tourney and was turned away by 14th-ranked Creighton by a final of 84-74.
This game marks the first-ever meeting between these two schools on the hardwood.
Shooting 9-of-14 from the field and 7-of-8 at the free-throw line yesterday, Jared Berggren registered a team-best 27 points, in addition to clearing seven rebounds in 30 minutes of action, but his efforts went for naught as Wisconsin suffered the double-digit loss to one of its toughest competitors thus far. Also scoring in double figures for the group were Ryan Evans and George Marshall with 15 and 13 points, respectively, the former adding eight boards and three of the unit's eight assists. Although he has made just 28.6 percent of his attempts out beyond the arc, Berggren continues to lead the team in scoring with his 16.2 ppg. Ben Brust accounts for another 12.4 ppg and is the top man on the glass with close to nine per game, which is almost the difference between Wisconsin and the opposition through five games.
Arkansas made good on an impressive 53.6 percent from the field in the first half against Arizona State on Friday, the problem is the Sun Devils hit a sizzling 62.5 percent from the floor in the frame in order to take a halftime lead and eventually the 15-point win. The Hogs came back after the break to shoot only 28.6 percent from the field, 1-of-12 on the outside, as BJ Young tried to keep Arkansas in contention with his 29 points, followed by Rashad Madden with 11 and eight rebounds and Hunter Mickelson with 10 points in the setback. Although he's missed one game in the early going, Young has still proven himself to be the main man at the offensive end of the floor for the Razorbacks with his 21.3 ppg, followed by Marshawn Powell with 13.3 ppg for a team that is generating a hefty 85.5 ppg.
Against weak competition the Razorbacks generally feast, but that won't be the case this time around because Wisconsin is a hungry team as well.
Game Date and Time