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Iyiola scores 18 points, Pride outshine Razorbacks 89-81

The 24th-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks failed to bounce back again from their first loss of the season as the Hogs were defeated 89-81 by the visiting Hofstra Pride who claimed their first win over a ranked team in three tries this season on Saturday. This was Arkansas’ first back-to-back loss for the first time since mid-January 2021. Arkansas, currently 9-2, received a 22-point loss to Oklahoma last week.

Lyiola ‘dominating’

Leading Hofstra, who is currently 7-5, was former Hog big man Abayomi “Baybe” Iyiola. He finished with a double-double, 18 points, and 14 rebounds. Meanwhile, missing in action was leading scorer Zach Cooks. Despite being Cooks-less, the Pride furthered a late 66-64 lead with a 23-17 scoring advantage with guards Aaron Estrada and Jalen Ray tying for game-high scoring records with 22 points each.

Senior guards JD Notae and Chris Lykes produced 20 and 19 points, respectively but that was the only double-figure for Arkansas throughout the game.

“It’s funny how that works. For Bay to have that type of game is amazing,” first-year Hofstra coach Speedy Claxton told reporters after the game. “They probably gave up on him. It’s tough to play against a former team the year after you leave them, so that’s why this game was even more important for us because we wanted to do it for Bay. And then thank God, I’m happy that we got it done.”

“When we saw him in the transfer portal, we were looking for a big and his name caught our attention. I actually called (Eric) Muss and Muss was like, ‘No, he’s good. He’s just kind of got hurt.’ And then by the time he came back, they kind of had their rotation set. It was a numbers game, so I’ve got to call Muss and thank him.”

Hofstra managed to hit only 7 of 22 for 31.8 percent from distance. However, the Pride was dominating in terms of rebounding at 40-33, turnovers at 15-11, points-off-turnovers at 22-10, and points-in-the-paint at 44-26. To top that off, Hofstra manage to shoot 55.8 percent inside the arc while Arkansas managed to land 44.6 percent of the team’s shots. This included a 12-of-31 or 38.7 percent effort from 3.

“I think Hofstra played harder than we played, which is really hard for me to say because I haven’t said it very often as a coach,” Arkansas coach Eric Musselman said. “Baybe dominated us just off effort quite frankly. I’d love to tell you guys a better answer.

“I mean, they scored 89 points, they led the entire game, and we got outrebounded by seven,” Musselman said. “So if your shots aren’t falling, and you get outrebounded, and you don’t defend very well, you’re probably in for a long night, which is what happened.”

Arkansas will now prepare for a non-conference game at home against Elon on Tuesday, December 21, their last game before the Christmas break. The Razorbacks will prepare to face Mississippi State on Wednesday, December 29.

Speedy Claxton
Craig Elliott “Speedy” Claxton is an American former professional basketball player and the current head coach of the Hofstra University men’s basketball team.

Arkansas is a state in the South Central region of the United States, home to more than three million people as of 2018. Its name is from the Osage language, a Dhegiha Siouan language,