LAS VEGAS — The University of Arkansas men's basketball season is over.
After reaching the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive season, the No. 8 seed Razorbacks suffered a season-ending loss to fourth-seeded Connecticut 88-65 Thursday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Freshman guard Anthony Black led the way for the Razorbacks (22-14) with 20 points, five steals and four rebounds, while junior guard Ricky Council added 17 points and three rebounds.
The Razorbacks never led in the 23-point loss. Earlier in the week, Arkansas coach Eric Musselman said he thought Connecticut (28-8) was the best rebounding team left in the tournament.
The Huskies proved that statement correct, outrebounding Arkansas 43 to 31 with 11 offensive rebounds.
Connecticut sophomore guard Jordan Hawkins was a force inside the paint and from behind the three-point line.
Hawkins scored a game-high 24 points on 6-of-13 shooting; his three three-pointers came during times Arkansas was on the brink of shifting momentum in its favor.
Junior forward Adama Sanogo delivered 18 points, eight rebounds and two blocks for the Huskies, while freshman forward Alex Karaban added 11 points on 100% shooting from the field and seven rebounds.
The Huskies took their first double-digit lead thanks to a three-pointer by graduate guard Joey Calcaterra. The basket put Connecticut ahead 28-17 with 9:53 to play in the first half.
Connecticut continued to build on that lead, reeling off an 11-0 run to take a 34-17 with just under eight minutes left in the opening half.
Arkansas shot 31.7% from the field and 5-of-16 from three. The Razorbacks went scoreless for a 4:39 stretch in the first half and couldn't slow down Connecticut on the defensive end. The Huskies shot 57.4% from the field, 45% from behind the arc and led by as much as 29 points in the second half.
Arkansas freshman guard Nick Smith finished with 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting with two rebounds.
The Razorbacks now hold a 50-35 all-time record in NCAA Tournament action and are 1-5 all-time against Connecticut.