Arkansas hoops ready for Gardner-Webb in second game of season

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With first-game nerves out of the way, the Arkansas men’s basketball team can now aim forward through the rest of its nonconference slate.

Next up: Gardner-Webb.

Arkansas had to rally in the second half to beat Mercer in both teams’ season opener on Tuesday night at Bud Walton Arena, 74-61. The Razorbacks, the No. 15 team in the nation in the coaches poll, will host Gardner-Webb on Saturday afternoon in Fayetteville.

The Runnin’ Bulldogs, from Boiling Springs, North Carolina, were picked to finish third in the Big South’s South Division in the preseason. They lost their opener to Nevada-Las Vegas on Wednesday, 64-58. UNLV needed run in the final minutes to escape.

Gardner-Webb is led by guards D’Maurian Williams and Lance Terry, two of the three players who averaged in double figures for the team last year. Williams was the game’s leading scorer against UNLV, dropping 21 points.

Arkansas was led in its opener by JD Notae. He scored 30 points, the most he has in a Razorbacks uniform since joining the team as a transfer from Jacksonville last year. Pittsburgh transfer Au’Diese Toney and Miami (FL) Chris Lykes joined him in double figures with 18 points and 16 points, as well.

Tipoff from Bud Walton Arena is at 2 p.m. on Saturday and will air on SEC Network+. The tip time gives Hogs fans plenty of time to get back home in time to watch the football team play LSU (6:30 p.m. kickoff).