No. 18 Arkansas plays host to Missouri

Feb 18, 2015 - 3:33 PM Fayetteville, AR ( - The Missouri Tigers will have quite the mountain to climb Wednesday in order to end an 11-game losing streak, as they take to the road to face the 18th-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks in an SEC clash at Bud Walton Arena.

Missouri's 11-game skid started just after an overtime victory over LSU back on Jan. 8. The Tigers find themselves 1-11 against SEC competition after dropping Saturday's contest to Mississippi State, 77-74. Mizzou is also a dismal 0-6 in away contests this season.

Arkansas narrowly pulled out a win over Ole Miss on Saturday, defeating the Rebels on their home floor, 71-70, to give the Razorbacks their fourth consecutive win. Arkansas is 9-3 in league play this season, and owns a dominant 15-1 mark in home contests.

The winner of this 43rd all-time meeting between Missouri and Arkansas will become the leader in the series history. Through 42 games played, the series is tied between the Tigers and Razorbacks, 21-21. The Razorbacks were able to even the series back on Jan. 24 with a tight 61-60 win over the Tigers at Mizzou Arena.

Missouri, which trailed Mississippi State at halftime, 40-29, whittled the Bulldogs' lead down to a single point on Saturday in the closing seconds, 75-74. But with one second left to play, the visiting Bulldogs connected on a pair of free throws for a three-point advantage, and the Tigers couldn't get a shot off before time ran out. The Tigers allowed Mississippi State to shoot 56.1 percent from the floor, with a 26-of-33 mark from the free-throw line. Johnathan Williams III did all he could in the loss, netting 27 points with seven rebounds to pace the team. Keith Shamburger chipped in 15 points with six assists, and Ryan Rosburg came off the bench to add 12 points in the defeat.

Williams has done his part to try and keep his team afloat, but he can't do it all by himself. The forward leads the team in scoring this season at 12.6 ppg, also averaging a team-leading 7.0 rpg with a team high-tying 15 blocked shots. Wes Clark, who was ruled out last week with a dislocated right elbow and won't return in time for this clash, is the only other Tiger with a double-digit scoring figure at 10.1 ppg. Shamburger has distributed a team- best 94 assists on the season, and is second to Clark's 38 steals with 31 thefts of his own. The dismal Tigers offense is averaging 61.8 ppg this season (last in the SEC), and is allowing 68.7 ppg to opponents.

Arkansas needed a little heroics on Saturday in order to escape Oxford with a win. Manuale Watkins connected on a short jump shot with 6.4 seconds remaining in regulation to lift the Razorbacks up past Ole Miss by a one-point margin. A strong defensive effort by Arkansas also helped keep the Rebels at bay for the most part. The Razorbacks help Ole Miss to 37.9 percent shooting in the game, while they connected on a healthy 47.5 percent of their tries. Michael Qualls led the charge for Arkansas with 15 points and nine rebounds, and Anton Beard added 14 points before he fouled out. Bobby Portis netted 12 points with four blocked shots, and Rashad Madden collected 10 points and six assists in the win.

Portis has become a household name in the college basketball world this season, as the sophomore forward has dominated just about all competition his team has faced. Portis leads his team and ranks second in the SEC in scoring, netting 17.7 ppg on 55 percent shooting. His team-leading 8.6 rpg mark also checks in as one of the conference's best, ranking fourth. Qualls ranks second on the team in scoring, adding 15.3 ppg to a team netting 79.9 ppg as a unit (first in the SEC). Madden's team-leading 4.9 apg mark is the second best in the conference this season. The team's scoring defense hasn't been too spectacular, allowing 69.7 ppg to opponents.

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