Just a few days after an encouraging win over Oregon in the UConn Huskies’ first game of the PK80 tournament, UConn men’s basketball ends their time in Oregon with one of the worst losses in recent memory in a 102-67 loss to the Arkansas Razorbacks.
The loss to the Razorbacks gives UConn a fourth-place finish in the Victory bracket and marked the first time a UConn team has surrendered 100 points in a regulation game since 1995.
The Huskies got off to an extremely slow start on offense, failing to score from the field until a layup from Larrier at 15:45. As UConn sputtered out of the gate, the Razorbacks came out hot, hitting eight of their first 12 shots and jumping out to a 20-7 lead seven minutes in.
For nearly 14 minutes in the first half, Larrier and Jalen Adams were the only two Huskies to score from the field, with Alterique Gilbert and Josh Carlton each contributing one free throw. After playing 17 minutes in the first half, Gilbert did not play a single minute in the second, finishing with one point on 0-5 shooting from the floor.
Antwoine Anderson became the third UConn player with a made field goal with a layup near the six minute mark, but Arkansas stayed hot as Daryl Macon hit a 3-pointer at 5:35 to make it 41-21 and grow the Razorbacks’ lead to 20.
UConn would outscore Arkansas 10-4 in the final five minutes largely in part to Christian Vital, who hit two free throws and a jumper to pull UConn within 12, but a Jaylen Barford layup with 24 seconds left had the Huskies trailing 45-31 at the end of the first half.
Even with a decent start in the second half in which UConn scored four straight points to pull within 13, the Huskies couldn’t claw back due to Barford, who hit 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions as part of his team-high 24 points.
But as UConn got as close as they could to staying in the game, the Huskies faltered and Arkansas put the game well out of reach.
Mamadou Diarra would pull the Huskies within 12 after a hook shot on the block at 15:11, but it was all Arkansas after that as the Razorbacks rattled off a 19-0 run to make it 72-41 before a Tyler Polley layup stopped the bleeding.
Overall, Arkansas shot 60 percent from the field and 57.9 percent from deep for the game while UConn shot 37.7 overall and 26.9 percent from the 3-point line. The Huskies finished the PK80 tournament shooting 17-65 (25 percent) from beyond the arc.
After hitting a 3-pointer with around six minutes left, Larrier landed awkwardly on his right ankle, re-aggravating an injury he suffered earlier in the game. He left the game shortly after, finishing the night with 18 points on 7-14 shooting.
Arkansas would grow the lead to as much as 42 with two minutes left before Adams and the Huskies trimmed the deficit to 35 points. Adams’ 3-pointer with 27 seconds left gave him a game-high 25 points as the Huskies fell to the Razorbacks 102-67.
Ideally, this loss serves as the season’s low point for the Huskies. If Kevin Ollie and his team can bounce back and turn in solid performances heading into conference play, there is still plenty of time left in the season to make this loss a distant memory.
UConn returns to action Wednesday at Gampel Pavilion against Columbia. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. and the game can be seen on SNY.