FAYETTEVILLE — Western Kentucky’s basketball team hasn’t played at the University of Arkansas since beating the Razorbacks 102-100 on Dec. 3, 1973, but fans in Walton Arena will see two familiar faces with the Hilltoppers today.
Call it blasts from the SEC past.
WKU Coach Rick Stansbury and senior forward Desean Murray faced the Razorbacks previously in SEC games.
Stansbury will be on the visiting bench for the 24th time in a game at Arkansas dating back to the Razorbacks’ SEC debut during the 1991-92 season.
As a Mississippi State assistant, Stansbury was with Bulldogs teams that went 0-7 at Arkansas — including 0-2 in Barnhill Arena and 0-5 in Walton Arena.
After Stansbury was promoted to head coach, his Bulldogs went 4-10 at Arkansas. Stansbury returned to Arkansas as a Texas A&M assistant for two games — both won by the Razorbacks.
Stansbury is 4-19 all-time at Arkansas as a visiting assistant and head coach.
In 30 games overall against the Razorbacks as the Bulldogs’ head coach,
Stansbury was 16-14. Murray, a graduate transfer averaging 10.9 points and 4.7 rebounds in his first season at WKU, played against Arkansas twice last season with Auburn.
In Murray’s two games against Arkansas for Auburn — where he transferred from Presbyterian — he had 15 points, 8 rebounds and 2 steals in the Tigers’ 88-77 victory at home, and 3 points and 4 rebounds in the Razorbacks’ 91-82 victory in Walton Arena.