OXFORD, Miss. -- The University of Arkansas basketball team won its SEC opener at Texas A&M two weeks ago.
It probably seems more like two years right now to the Razorbacks and their fans. That's because Arkansas hasn't won since beating the Aggies 73-71.
Ole Miss beat Arkansas 84-67 on Saturday at The Pavilion before an announced, sell-out crowd of 9,500 to extend the Razorbacks' losing streak to four games.
The Razorbacks (10-7, 1-4 SEC) have lost four consecutive games for the first time in Mike Anderson's eight seasons as their coach.
It's Arkansas' longest losing streak in nine years, since the Razorbacks lost their final six games of the the 2009-10 season under John Pelphrey to finish at 14-18.
"We've got to win," Anderson said. "I think their confidence has been kind of shattered."
Arkansas lost to Florida 57-51 and LSU 94-88 in overtime at home, then lost on the road at No. 3 Tennessee 106-87 on Tuesday night before playing the No. 18 Rebels.
"We had some tough losses at home, and then you play against an outstanding Tennessee team and you're having to come and play against a surging Ole Miss team," Anderson said. "You have to come in and play well.
"You've got to shoot the ball well on the road. We didn't shoot the ball well. But I think confidence has a lot to do with that as well."
The Razorbacks shot 40 percent from the field (22 of 55), including 6 of 23 on three-pointers.
Junior guard Breein Tyree led Ole Miss (14-3, 4-1) with 22 points, 4 rebounds and 3 steals. Senior guard Terence Davis had 18 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists and 5 steals, and junior center Dominik Olejniczak had a season-high 13 points for the Rebels, who bounced back from an 83-69 loss to LSU at home on Tuesday night.
"We've had two top-15 wins, had some great wins," Ole Miss Coach Kermit Davis said of beating Auburn and Mississippi State. "But [Arkansas] was probably our best win of the year because it was a response after you lose your first league game.
"I thought the crowd and the players were connected today. What a fun atmosphere."
Not for the Razorbacks.
"They're a good team, but they weren't good enough to beat us like that," Arkansas freshman guard Isaiah Joe said of the Rebels. "We beat ourselves."
D.C. Davis had a three-point play with an assist from Terence Davis to put the Rebels ahead 49-35 with 19:39 left.
Arkansas used an 8-0 run to pull within 49-43 with 17:01 left after Gabe Osabuohien dunked with an assist from Daniel Gafford.
The Rebels responded by outscoring the Razorbacks 13-2 over a 4:44 span -- including a three-point basket and dunk by Terence Davis, and four points from D.C. Davis -- to push their lead to 62-45 with 11:24 left.
Arkansas didn't pull closer than 12 points the rest of the game, and trailed by as many as 19.
"As we cut into the lead with the ball, I thought we had some momentum going," Anderson said. "Then -- again -- what kicked in was our inexperience and not coming down and executing."
Kermit Davis called a timeout with 16:49 left after the Razorbacks made it a six-point game.
"Coach said he felt like we were fooling around or whatever," Tyree said. "He called a timeout, reeled us back, got us more energetic on the defensive end of the floor.
"We started getting stops, running in transition, and that's when we're really scary."
The Razorbacks went through a 1-of-9 shooting stretch and had 3 turnovers as the Rebels took control of the game for good.
"We've just got to keep our focus for the duration of the whole game," said Joe, who had 11 points. "We play in spurts, and we need to play for 40 minutes. Not in 20-minute increments, not in four- or five-minute increments. We've got to play solid the whole game."
Kermit Davis said he sensed the Rebels were having a letdown before he called the timeout.
"We lost our energy, and Arkansas just played so much harder in that four-minute stretch than we did," Davis said. "Then we got it cranked back up again."
Davis credited switching to a 1-3-1 zone defense with helping to stop the Razorbacks' surge.
"I thought that energized us," he said. "We got some turnovers in transition. I thought that 1-3-1 for about a six-minute period kind of changed the rhythm of the game."
Freshman guard Keyshawn Embery-Simpson led Arkansas with a career-high 16 points off the bench, including 12 in the second half. Osabuohien, a sophomore forward, had a career-high 13 points.
Gafford -- a sophomore forward and projected first-round NBA Draft pick -- and sophomore guard Mason Jones were held to a combined 14 points. They averaged 32 points per game entering Saturday.
Gafford matched his season-low with nine points while hitting 2 of 6 shots and 5 of 6 free throws. Jones was 1 of 10 from the field.
"I don't know if it was a hangover effect [from the Tennessee loss] that we had, but I just didn't see us clicking," Anderson said. "The guys that we have that normally score for us, they didn't score. Maybe [the Rebels'] defense had a lot to do with that."
The Razorbacks cut the Rebels' lead to three points on three separate occasions in the first half, but Ole Miss led 46-35 at halftime after Terence Davis hit a three-pointer with five seconds left in the half.
"They delivered the first punch and obviously had us back on our heels in this game," Anderson said. "I thought they brought the energy. I thought their experience showed and our inexperience showed."
Sports on 01/20/2019
Print Headline: Four's telling as Razorbacks defeated by Ole Miss