He’s baaaack! Nick Smith Jr. explodes as Arkansas dismantles Georgia
Arkansas couldn’t afford to lose Tuesday night to Georgia. Not at home. Not if the Razorbacks wanted to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes realistically alive.
That isn’t because Arkansas would off the bubble were the season to end now. But with the two best teams in the SEC next on the slate and the season finale against Kentucky, tucking back regular-season wins is paramount.
Arkansas used a 15-2 run early in the first half to break open the game early and the Hogs never really looked back on their way to a 97-65 win from Bud Walton Arena.
Georgia had no answer defensively. The Razorbacks shot 64% from the floor and turned 13 Bulldogs turnovers into 20 points. The visitors especially had no response for Nick Smith Jr.
The projected NBA lottery pick looked like one. In his second real game back – third, technically – from a right knee injury, Smith scored a career-high 26 points on 9 of 14 shooting. Ricky Council joined him with 22 points and Anthony Black chipped in another 10 points.
Kario Oquendo led Georgia with 20 points.
Arkansas has three games left in the regular season and would be in the NCAA Tournament had the season ended Tuesday. But up next is projected No. 1-seed Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
More Arkansas basketball!
Photo gallery: Arkansas blasts Georgia to set up huge stretch run