Arkansas got a much-needed 74-71 home win over No. 5 Texas A&M on Wednesday. The Razorbacks entered the game 9-10 (3-4) but got back to .500 both overall and in the SEC, this after forcing 21 turnovers.
“Whenever you can turn over a team like that 21 times, you’re really getting after it,” Arkansas guard Dusty Hannahs said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “It just spoke to how active we were and how focused. You can’t slip up against a team like A&M. You got to be hitting on all cylinders and we did that.”
Arkansas led 40-33 at halftime and hung on in the final seconds for the win. Hannahs and Athlon Bell both hit three three-pointers and finished with 17 points, while Moses Kinglsey had a team-high 18 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Impressively, Keaton Miles had four blocks in just nine minutes off the bench.
“We knew in this game that we all had to bring it – every person on this team, not just us three,” Hannahs said, referring to himself, Bell and Kinglsey. “Everybody brought it and brought their energy. That’s how we play. We need to play with energy and we hadn’t been playing like that. To come do it tonight it feels great and hopefully can propel us to go on a great run.”
Arkansas had lost three straight games before beating A&M. Two of those losses, to LSU and Georgia, came by five points combined. In fact, the Razorbacks have lost six games by four points or fewer this season, including three in overtime.
“Even in non-conference, we’ve lost a lot of close games this year,” Hannhas said. “LSU and Georgia, these are two of about seven or eight games that we let slip up. We had a lot of games that we could have had control of and we let slip by a few points. We’re real focused, especially after the last two happened in league play. It’s really made everyone’s focus laser-sharp. We’re ready to just get rolling now.”
Hannhas, a Texas Tech transfer, leads Arkansas with 16.7 points per game. He’s been a welcome addition for the Razorbacks and is playing arguably the best basketball of his life.
“After sitting out last year and the hardships I went through, your confidence kind of gets down a little bit,” Hannahs said. “But after sitting out this year and working extremely hard, the confidence that this team and Coach (Mike) Anderson gives me, it’s been a reawakening for me to get back to the player I once was.”
Hannhas will get a crack at his former team this Saturday. Arkansas hosts Texas Tech (12-7) at 4 p.m. ET.