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Arkansas falls to Mississippi State in Smith's return

The Razorbacks' five-game SEC winning streak is over as Arkansas struggled to get past Mississippi State's nationally-ranked defense.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. โ€” On Saturday night the Mississippi State Bulldogs snapped Arkansas's six-game SEC win streak when they defeated the Razorbacks 70-64 in Bud Walton Arena.

Freshman guard Anthony Black led Arkansas (17-8, 6-6 SEC) with a game-high 23 points and a game-high five assists, while junior guard Ricky Council added a team-high six rebounds and 13 points on 1-of-6 shooting, with 11 points coming from the free throw line.

Mississippi State's defense, which is ranked No. 5 in the country, held the Hogs to 44% shooting from the field and 22% shooting from three. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs shot 47% from the field and an efficient 60% from three.

Senior guard Dashawn Davis scored a team-high 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting for Mississippi State. Junior guard Moore added 12 points, five rebounds and five assists and redshirt senior forward Tolu Smith notched 11 points and a game-high eight rebounds.

Freshman guard Nick Smith Jr. made his first appearance since Dec. 17 and tallied five points, one rebound and one assist in 17 minutes of action.

The game was blow-for-blow until Mississippi State (17-8, 5-7) put together a run halfway through the first half.

Redshirt senior forward Will McNair made a layup and freshman guard Shawn Jones added a basket and a three-pointer to give the Bulldogs a 23-17 lead with 9:44 remaining in the opening half.

Moore added a three-point jumper to put the Bulldogs up by nine heading into the break.

Six minutes into the second half, the Bulldogs put together a 13-6 run to build a 16-point lead over Arkansas.

Entering Saturday, the Razorbacks were 3-0 when trailing at halftime and they didn't back down from the challenge.

The Razorbacks answered with an 11-0 run, capped by a three-pointer from junior guard Davonte Davis to bring Mississippi State's lead to 47-42 with 10:40 left to play.

Davis delivered seven points and hauled in a team-high six rebounds.

Coming down the stretch, the Hogs were forced to play catch-up and couldn't come up with timely stops.

Council threw down a dunk to cut the Bulldogs' lead to 60-55 with 2:15 remaining.

Davis then made a layup to bring Arkansas within three points, but it was the closest they could get.

Mississippi State's stout defense was able to hold off the Hogs in Bud Walton Arena and walked out with its fifth consecutive victory.

The Razorbacks will travel to Texas A&M on Feb. 15 for a rematch against the Aggies. Coverage from Reed Arena in College Station, Texas, begins at 8 p.m. Central on ESPN2.

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