Maui Jim Invitational Consolation Preview: #17 SDSU Aztecs vs. #9 Arkansas Razorbacks
Consolation in name only! Arkansas is a top ten NCAA team.
A win against the #9 Razorbacks would be a major resume builder for the #17 Aztecs.
WHEN: Wednesday, Nov. 23rd — 5pm HST / 7pm PST / 9pm CST
WHERE: Lahaina Civic Center, Lahaina, HI (2,400)
LIVE STREAM: fuboTV (Watch for free) / WatchESPN.com
RADIO: 101.5 KGB / XTRA 1360 / iHeart Radio App
SERIES RECORD: This is the 3rd matchup between the Aztecs and the Razorbacks. Arkansas maintains a 2-0 all-time series lead.
LAST MEETING: Arkansas defeated SDSU 76-64 on December 3, 1985
ODDS: Arkansas -1.5
Maui, HI- The #17 San Diego State Aztecs (4-1, 0-0 MW) have a resume builder when they tip off against the #9 Arkansas Razorbacks (4-1, 0-0 SEC) in the 2022 Maui Jim Invitational consolation match on Wednesday night.
Let’s take a look at both teams entering into this match.
Arkansas defeated Louisville in the opening round with ease and they held tight in a shootout with the Creighton Bluejays for 40 minutes. In one of the best games of the season, the Razorbacks couldn’t get over the final hump, losing just 90-87. It was a fantastic game for freshman Anthony Black who had 26 points and six assists. Ricky Council chipped in 24 points while playing in all 40 minutes of this hard core contest.
It was an impressive performance against a very good team without arguably their best player, freshman Nick Smith. He won’t play for Arkansas tonight but the SEC has shown that they can keep up with opponents without him for now.
Will the Razorbacks be able to beat San Diego State (4-1), who is capable of beating them? And, if so will coach Eric Musselman take off his shirt? Perhaps not if the championship is not on the line.
The Aztecs decisively defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes in the opening round and were putting up a fight against Arizona on Tuesday night, even leading in the second half. But the offense went flat, and referees made a slew of erroneous calls against them, in the final 15 minutes and SDSU ended up handily losing, 87-70. Darrion Trammell put up 21 points and Micah Parrish had 10 off the bench. But the starting duo of Matt Bradley and Lamont Butler combined for just nine points on 3/16 shooting, which wasn’t going to work against a team like Arizona.
Arkansas’ perimeter defense is seriously sharp, and the Aztecs will need to step up and produce. There’s plenty of experience for the Mountain West team against the younger Razorbacks, but the confidence they gained from the Creighton match will help them mentally until Nick Smith returns.
What Will Happen
San Diego State has a better offense than they did a year ago but there’s still some inconsistency to work through. But with a younger Razorback team to play against, the veterans might just find a way to get a key win for their resume and leave the Maui Invitational with another statement victory.
Final Score: SDSU 71, Arkansas 69