Instant Analysis: Arkansas’ end-of-season crash stings against Kentucky

Arkansas was in the game until it wasn’t.

Needing a win to practically clinch an NCAA Tournament berth, the Razorbacks instead dropped a third straight game, closing the regular seasno on a three-game skid in falling to No. 23 Kentucky, 88-79, on Saturday.

After trailing by just four at halftime, Arkansas went without a field goal for 6:16 early in the second half, missing nine straight attempts in the span as Kentucky stretched its lead to as many as 12.

The Razorbacks were let down at the free-throw line, a theme all too common in recent weeks, coach Eric Musselman had said after his team lost earlier in the week to Tennessee. On Saturday, Arkansas went 22 of 34 from the stripe.

Arkansas could have used those even more than usual, too, as Kentucky’s defense frustrated, limiting the home team to just 36% shooting from the field. A 2-for-20 game on lay-ups was even worse. And, just like at the line, the Wildcats punched back there, too, knocking down 54% of theirs.

Antonio Reeves was especially difficult to stop. The Kentucky guard scored a career-high 37 points on 12 of 17 shooting. In the frontcourt, Oscar Tshiebwe added 12 points and 13 rebounds.

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Story originally appeared on Razorbacks Wire