This is getting tough to watch. You have to wonder if this is the kind of defeat that will break the team's spirit. Perhaps that is a knee-jerk and melodramatic statement, but that was one tough loss.
Considering that we basically have no bench and that the game was on the road (and that Mississippi State apparently never misses a three-point shot), it shouldn't be all that surprising that the second half unfolded the way it did. Even with a 15-point halftime lead courtesy of a picture-perfect first half, I was far from certain that the Hogs had this one in the bag.
I was hoping that the Razorbacks could at least keep their lead around 15 points for the first five minutes or so of the second half. When the Bulldogs came charging back so quickly, I quickly got that sinking feeling.
I certainly can't complain about their effort. The obvious fatigue with which the Hogs - Fortson in particular - played down the stretch was testimony to how hard they competed. They simply don't have enough talent in the frontcourt or enough size in the backcourt - or even enough warm bodies to make it through a fast-paced game. We're just going to have to take our lumps this year.
Our good friend Jethro wrote the other day that one of the good things about young players is that they bounce back quickly. From a psychological perspective, hopefully that will be the case here. Despite the fact that they will almost certainly wind up with a ghoulish conference record, there is enough there, there to snag an unexpected victory or two (or maybe even three) down the stretch.
But I can't help but worry that yesterday's loss is one that will linger.
(more at www.razorbackexpats.com)