FAYETTEVILLE – For the second straight game, Player of the Year candidate Moses Moody tied his season high with 28 points. However, it was his blocked shot on a Texas A&M dunk attempt with the game tied and 1:49 left to play that led #12/13 Arkansas to an 87-80 victory over Texas A&M Saturday afternoon at Bud Walton Arena.
The win closes the regular season for both programs and the Razorbacks improve to 21-5 overall, 13-4 in the SEC. The win was the 11th in a row in SEC play for the Razorbacks, the best streak in the SEC this season and ties the 1993-94 national championship team for most consecutive league wins. (The ’943-94 team also won its final 11 SEC games that season.) Texas A&M falls to 8-9 overall, 2-8 in the SEC.
Moody made a career-high five 3-pointers (5-of-8) with two assists, two steals and the crucial block.
Graduate senior Jalen Tate and freshman Davonte Davis also made key plays down the stretch to lead to the win.
Down two (71-69) with 4:58 left, Arkansas outscored the Aggies 18-9 down the stretch. However, Texas A&M was up one, 76-74, with two minutes left. Justin Smith got an offensive rebound and put-back to tie the game. On the ensuing possession, Moody had his blocked shot. However, Arkansas, on an apparent old-fashion 3-point opportunity, had a call reversed on them after review, changing a block to a charge to give the Aggies the ball. Savion Flagg capitalized with a put-back to give his team the lead, 78-76, with 1:13 left.
Undaunted, Moody drained a 3-pointer to put his team up one, 79-78 – a lead the Hogs would not relinquish.
Texas A&M called a timeout once crossing half-court with 48 ticks left. On the inbounds play. Davis tipped the pass. Tate corralled the loose ball and tipped the ball back to Davis. Davis then threw the ball ahead for a Justin Smith dunk and a 3-point lead. A&M had a good look at 3-pointer in the right corner but missed. JD Notae came down with the rebound, was fouled and he sank both free throws for a five-point cushion.
Emanuel Miller was fouled with 14 seconds left and he made both free throws. Notae was once again fouled and made both to put the Hogs back up by five. Davis then sealed the game with a steal and a dunk.
Tate finished with 22 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Davis had 12 points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals. Smith, who played all 40 minutes, added 11 points.
Miller and Quentin Jackson each scored 23 points for the Aggies with Miller adding 10 rebounds.
Arkansas will be the #2 seed at next week’s SEC Tournament (Nashville, Tenn.). The Razorbacks receive a double-bye and will not play until the quarterfinal round on Friday (Ma. 12) at 6 pm.