Michael Qualls casts a magic spell over Georgia to help secure the victory for Arkansas. - Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports
Remember how Mary Catherine Gallagher would start a routine, end up falling all over whatever furniture was on the stage only to bounce up and yell "Superstar!" That's what this game was like.
Arkansas led comfortably most of the game, and when Anthlon Bell scored his 17th points on a jumper to give the Hogs an 11 point lead with 12:50 to go, it seemed like the game would be an easy snoozer. So, naturally, Bell was taken out of the game a minute later and never returned, and Georgia eventually made a run, took the lead, and Arkansas needed another late, driving, near/possible travel layup from BJ Young to claim a 62-60 victory in the final seconds.
Bell was the only reason Arkansas was in the game at all. The freshman guard, who hadn't scored a single point in several games, knocked down five threes and scored 17 points in just 15 minutes of action. In a game where Young and Marshawn Powell only accounted for 19 points, the Razorbacks received the boost off the bench they needed. Coty Clarke pitched in eight points, Rickey Scott had seven, and no one else had more than five.
The game was mostly a sludge, with the score 41-41 with nine minutes ago. Then both teams traded baskets at a rate that gave the impression of mild competence, with Arkansas outscoring the Bulldogs 21-19 over the final few minutes. Georgia took a three point lead with about two and a half minutes left, but Powell hit a three from the top of the key to tie the game and Arkansas never trailed after that.
The big question after the game is why didn't Bell play the final 11 minutes of the game? With Powell only logging 15 minutes of game time due to foul trouble, Bell was the only consistent scorer Thursday night, and it wasn't until he made his final exit that Georgia made the game as close as they ended up making it.
When asked about it after the game, this was Mike Anderson's response:
Anderson on Anthlon Bell not playing final 11 minutes: We had some other guys, and they finished the game for us.— Bo Mattingly (@SportsTalkwBo) February 22, 2013
Well, seeing if Bell, who was announced as a knock-down shooter when he was recruited, has turned the corner into a reliable contributor or if this was simply another one of the few games this season when Bell has been hot will be a story worth following for the next few games. With the Hogs traveling to Gainesville this weekend, it would sure be nice if he could keep this up.
With the win, Arkansas is tied for fourth place in the SEC with Ole Miss and Missouri with five games remaining.