BUFFALO, N.Y. – It’s all about surviving and advancing in the NCAA Tournament and Arkansas did just that Thursday night in a 75-71 victory over Vermont in the first round of the NCAA Tournament inside KeyBank Arena.
The #17/18 Razorbacks (seeded 4th) and Catamounts (seeded 13th) were close throughout the night with neither team letting the other take too big of a lead despite both teams making runs. Arkansas used a 9-0 run to gain control in the first half and took a 34-27 lead into the half thanks to Devo Davis’ 10 points off the bench.
The Catamounts made their biggest run of the night with a 12-0 spurt in the second half that pulled Vermont back into the game with under 16 minutes remaining. The two teams remained close the rest of the way. The Razorbacks, however, finally put the game away down the stretch at the free throw line to put the finishing touches on a second half that saw the Hogs go 16-of-18 from the line.
Stanley Umude, who had nine rebounds, led the Hogs with 21 points as one of four Razorbacks in double digits. JD Notae scored 17 – with seven rebounds and four assist – and Davis added 14 points off the bench. Jaylin Williams notched his 13th double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Ryan Davis and Ben Shungu each scored 20 points for Vermont in the loss.
Arkansas advances to take on 12-seed New Mexico State in the second round on Saturday (Mar. 19). Tip off is set for 7:40 pm (CT) and the game will be televised on TNT.