FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – JD Notae became the first Razorback to score 30 points and have eight assists in an SEC game and Jaylin Williams recorded his 11th double-double of the year as #18/18 Arkansas defeated #6/3 Kentucky Saturday afternoon at Bud Walton Arena.
Arkansas improved to 4-0 versus ranked opponents this season, improves to 23-6 overall and wins its 13th of its last 14 games. Also with the win, Arkansas is 12-4 in the SEC and is tied for second in the SEC standings, one game behind Auburn.
Arkansas raced out to a 15-2 lead and led by as many as 13 three times in the first half.
However, the Wildcats made a run and trailed by just six points (34-28) at the break. Kentucky continued to play well into the second half, outscoring the Hogs 13-6 to start the frame, and took its first lead, 41-40 at 14:53, since scoring the game’s first basket.
From that point, it was a slugfest with neither team leading by more than four points.
With 2:21 left, Kellen Grady made his only basket, a 3-pointer, to put the Wildcats up one (70-69). Jaylin Williams answered with a jumper to put the Hogs back in the lead and never relinquished the lead.
Arkansas got a stop and Williams converted two free throws with 36 seconds left for a 3-point lead. The Hogs got another stop and Davonte Davis made 1-of-2 at the line to make it a two-possession game with 13 seconds left. On the ensuing possession, Notae and Au’Diese Toney each blocked shots with nine and six seconds remaining, respectively. Davis once again went 1-of-2 at the line for a 5-point cushion. Ty Ty Washington provided the final, 75-73, after banking in a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Notae scored 30 points for the third time this season and he tied a season-best with eight assists. Williams, who scored 10 straight for the Hogs inside the final 4:38, finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds with two assists and two steals. It was Williams’ sixth-straight double-double and 11th overall.
Kentucky was led by Oscar Tshiebwe’s 30 points and 18 rebounds. Keion Brooks Jr., and Sahvir Wheeler 14 points.
Arkansas stays at home to host LSU on Wednesday (Mar. 2). Tipoff is set for 8 pm and the game will be televised on ESPN2.