Despite the incredible fight, the No. 9 Arkansas Razorbacks fell to No. 10 Creighton 90-87 in the semifinal round of the Maui Invitational on Tuesday evening at the Lahaina Civic Center.
The Razorbacks battled all the way until the end, even getting a three from Anthony Black with 2.3 seconds to make it an 88-87 game. The shot wasn’t enough to overcome 22 team fouls in the end, as the Bluejays got the best of the Hogs.
Black led all scorers with 26 points, six rebounds and six assists. Ricky Council IV scored 24 for the Hogs and was a go-to scorer at times when it was needed most.
Arkansas won the turnover battle 17-8, but 28 second half free throw attempts — which were the product of many questionable calls — helped the Bluejays overcome mistakes.
Up next, the Razorbacks will face the winner of No. 14 Arizona and No. 17 San Diego State at 9 pm CT Wednesday on ESPN2.
Here is a recap of the wild game between Arkansas and Creighton, which resulted in the first loss of the season for the Hogs.
Creighton’s Ryan Nembhard started the scoring with a 3-pointer and Arkansas came back with a layup from Makhi Mitchell to make it 3-2 in the span of 16 seconds.
After Black made it a one-point game with a tough layup, Nembhard hit another three to put the Bluejays up 8-4. Davonte Davis drained a mid-range jumper to make it 8-6 Creighton at the first media timeout.
Out of the break, Baylor Scheierman hit a three, drew a foul and converted the 4-point play. After Davis hit another jumper, the Bluejays converted a pair of dunks from Ryan Kalkbrenner and Musselman wanted a timeout.
Black laid it in to give the Hogs 10 out of the huddle, but Nembhard hit his third three of the game to make it 19-10. Black was fouled behind the arc before the under-12 timeout, and he converted on two of three shots from the charity stripe.
Jordan Walsh picked Mason Miller and Black sprinted down the hardwood, grabbed the ball and laid it in to make it a 21-16 Creighton lead. The Bluejays put their starters back in and Scheierman immediately hit a three.
Council hit a pair of jumpers to counter a three from Scheierman and a dunk from Kalkbrenner to make it a six-point Creighton lead at the under-8 timeout.
A follow dunk from Black at the rim made it a 26-24 game, but Kalkbrenner hit a layup to push the lead back to four.
The Bluejays then went on a 6-0 run over the next 1:10, but Council put an end to it with a mid-range jumper. Scheierman hit a deep two right after to make it a 34-26 advantage for Creighton. A layup from Nembhard put all the pressure on and gave the Bluejays a 10-point lead with 3:07 left in the half.
Arkansas went on a 6-0 run in the final 1:21, including a lob from Black to Trevon Brazile that cut the Creighton lead to 40-34 at the break.
Arthur Kaluma opened the second half scoring with a layup and Walsh hit Arkansas’ first three of the game on a second-chance opportunity to make it 42-37. Black hit a layup on the next Razorback possession to make it a three-point game.
Following a layup from Trey Alexander, Council jammed it down with thunder and hit his first three of the game on the next possession to give Arkansas its first lead of the game, 46-45, going into the under-16 timeout.
Creighton took the lead again with a pair of free throws out of the break, but Walsh found Brazile with a lob that went right back up.
Following two more free throws from the Bluejays, Brazile made a layup and drew a foul, but he couldn’t convert on the free throw. Following the shot, Walsh drew his third foul and put Creighton in the bonus.
Council hit another three, but Musselman drew a technical to give Creighton a pair of free shots that tied it at 53-53 with 13:57 remaining. Both teams traded buckets before Brazile was called for his fourth foul of the game, allowing the Bluejays to go up 57-55.
Brazile hit a three at the top of the key to put the Hogs ahead 64-63, but Black fouled on the other end to allow Nembhard to hit a pair of charity shots. A dunk by Kaluma gave Creighton its largest lead since the 17:18 mark. Scheierman then hit a three from way deep to put the Bluejays up by six at the under-8 timeout.
Davis hit a big 3-pointer at the 5:36 mark to bring the Hogs within three and Black converted a layup, drew a foul and missed the free throw to make it a one-point game two possessions later.
The Bluejays hit a free throw out of the final media timeout to extend their lead to four. Kalkbrenner converted a dunk that was sandwiched between a Brazile layup and a 3-pointer, and the score was 77-76 with 2:55 to go.
Nembhard slammed it down to put Creighton up by three, but Brazile countered with his third deep shot of the game to tie things up. Kaluma converted a layup on the second attempt and Creighton called a timeout with an 81-79 lead at the 1:45 mark.
Kalkbrenner fouled Walsh out of the break to put the Hogs in the bonus. Walsh hit two free throws to tie the game with 1:32 left. Once again, Kalkbrenner, who stands at over seven feet tall, slammed it home to put the Bluejays up by two. A missed three from Davis led to a foul from Black, and Alexander converted both free throws to extend the lead to four.
Scheierman committed a pointless foul to send Black to the line, and he hit one shot before Walsh was called for a lane violation. After Kalkbrenner was fouled by Black, he missed both free throws and then fouled Davis on the other end. Davis hit both free throws to make it an 85-84 Creighton lead with just 18 seconds left.
Following a Creighton timeout, Davis fouled Scheierman, who hit both shots to make it a three-point lead. Council got the three point shot that Arkansas wanted, but missed, leading to Nembhard going to the line on the ensuing foul.
Nembhard hit just one of his free throws and Black drilled a three to make it an 88-87 Creighton lead with 2.3 seconds remaining.
Davis fouled with 1.9 seconds left to send Alexander to the line for two shots and he hit both to make it 90-87. A final shot opportunity was unsuccessful for the Hogs and the Bluejays emerged victorious.