Now that Arkansas has regained a level of confidence, the Razorbacks look for a strong follow-up performance when they host Furman on Monday night at Fayetteville, Ark.
Arkansas (5-3) toppled then-No. 7 Duke on Wednesday night for a signature win.
“We want to continue to evolve,” Arkansas coach Eric Musselman said. “We want to continue to be better.”
Furman (4-4) is coming off Saturday’s 70-69 loss at undefeated Princeton, which won on a late 3-point basket.
A meeting with Furman might look like a bit of a breather for Arkansas, which faced nationally ranked North Carolina and Duke in its past two games and has a home date with No. 25 Oklahoma on Saturday.
But don’t expect the Razorbacks to overlook the Paladins, who play in the Southern Conference. UNC Greensboro, also a member of that league, pulled a 78-72 upset at Arkansas on Nov. 17.
“This is a team that has some returning players who’ve played a lot of games,” Musselman said of Furman. “We’ve tried to schedule teams that we think might win their league.”
The Razorbacks might be without leading scorer Tramon Mark (18.4 points per game) again as he sustained a back injury Nov. 24 against North Carolina in the third-place game of the Battle 4 Atlantis.
“The concern right now is not the back, but the concern continues to be the hip and the groin,” Musselman said.
The Paladins, who led by 11 points in the Princeton game, will play their fourth game in a 10-day stretch, including their third road outing in that span.
This will be Furman’s lone matchup against a team from a power conference during the regular season.
“We have to keep moving to play a complete game with the type of pressure we’re trying to play with,” Furman coach Bob Richey said.
Despite scoring only three points at Princeton, Marcus Foster’s 19.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per game are tops for the Paladins. JP Pegues is averaging 15.7 points per game, and he’s a player the team counts on in clutch situations.
“We know his value,” Richey said. “His presence is just elite.”
With the win over Duke, Musselman improved to 100-45 as head coach at Arkansas.
–Field Level Media
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