Freshman Nick Smith Jr. scored 22 points for his collegiate high as Arkansas struggled to a 65-58 win over UNC Greensboro Tuesday night in Fayetteville, Ark.
The No. 9 Razorbacks (8-1) failed to get to the 70-point mark for the first time this season and shot a season-low 33.3 percent from the field. After scoring a season-low 21 points in the first half, they avoided the upset on the strength of a 44-32 second half.
Makhi Mitchell added 13 points, Anthony Black 11, and Davonte Davis 10 for the Hogs but Ricky Council IV, the leading scorer in the Southeastern Conference with a 19.8 average, managed only 8 points, all in the second half.
Trevon Brazile was scoreless after leaving the game with an apparent knee injury in the first half.
Donovan Atwell led the Spartans (4-6) with 12 points while Dante Treacy added 11 and Kobe Langley 10.
The Razorbacks overcame a 5-point halftime deficit in the first five minutes of the second half and took their first lead since holding a 6-5 edge when Black's corner 3-pointer put them up 34-33 at the 15:48 mark.
But the lead didn't last long. Atwell hit consecutive 3-pointers and Mikeal Brown Jones' fast-break layup quickly put the Spartans back in front 41-36.
The Hogs regained the lead when Council scored his first field goal to make it a 45-44 game. They pulled out to a 54-49 cushion on Black's 3-pointer with 3:09 left, but a minute later Langley drilled a long 3-pointer to get the Spartans within a basket entering the final two minutes.
The Razorbacks held a 7-point lead, their biggest of the game, with 1:29 left, and it was a 4-point game entering the final minute. Council sealed the win with two free throws with 19.4 seconds left to give the Hogs a 63-58 lead.
Both teams struggled with their shooting. The Razorbacks finished 18-of-54 (33.3 percent) overall and 3-of-18 on 3s while the Spartans were 21-of-67 overall (31.3) and 9-of-28 on 3-pointers.
The Hogs held a 47-39 advantage in rebounding but made 12 turnovers to the Spartans' 9.
--Field Level Media