Keyshaun Langley scored 23 points, Mikeal Brown-Jones added 17 and UNC Greensboro stunned No. 14 Arkansas 78-72 on Friday night.
The Spartans (2-1), who came in as 15 1/2-point underdogs according to FanDuel Sportsbook, went on a 13-2 run late in the first half and led by 15 early in the second, taking advantage of sloppy play by the Razorbacks (3-1).
Arkansas pulled within 54-50 on a layup by Davonte Davis with 9:54 left, but UNC Greensboro responded with a 3-pointer by Donovan Atwell and a layup by Joryam Saizonou for a nine-point lead. The Razorbacks never seriously threatened after that.
“We responded. They punched us,” UNC Greensboro coach Mike Jones said. “We responded the right way. We responded not by putting our head down and pouting, but just having some resolve.”
Tramon Mark scored 20 points and El Ellis added 19 for Arkansas.
The Razorbacks had 13 turnovers, including six in the final 4:15 of the first half, and the Spartans finished with 16 second-chance points. While Arkansas shot 44% from the field, it made only 4 of 23 3-pointers (17%).
“And 4 for 23? I don’t think we even needed to attempt that many,” Arkansas coach Eric Musselman said. “They didn’t have many shot blockers, you know? So not going to the rim was an issue in the first half.”
Arkansas forward Trevon Brazile was lost for the season with a knee injury when the two teams met last year in a game the Razorbacks won by seven points. He had nine points and nine rebounds Friday.
UNC Greensboro was coming off a four-point loss at Vanderbilt and got it done this time against another Southeastern Conference opponent. The Spartans appear worthy of their predicted No. 2 finish in the Southern Conference.
Musselman had said Monday after Arkansas’ sloppy win over Old Dominion that his team would get bitten by a mid-major if it kept playing that way. Although the Razorbacks’ season won’t be defined by their nonconference record, last year’s slow start hampered Arkansas when SEC play began.
UNC-Greensboro hosts Kansas City on Nov. 24. Arkansas opens the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas on Wednesday against Stanford.