Eric Musselman’s Arkansas frustrations boil over during, after loss

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Arkansas coach Eric Musselman made it very clear he wasn’t happy with a loss to No. 18 Texas A&M and an early exit at the Southeastern Conference tournament.

Razorbacks assistants had to restrain Musselman a couple times during a 67-61 loss Friday night in the quarterfinals in which the Aggies rallied from a 13-point deficit.

After the game, a student journalist tweeted that his phone was grabbed and thrown to the ground by an Arkansas staffer who was walking behind Musselman as he left the court.

The Kentucky Kernal, the independent student newspaper at the University of Kentucky, put out a statement after the incident that involved its journalist.

“The Kentucky Kernal is appalled by the actions of the Arkansas men’s basketball program. … no journalist, especially a student journalist, should be subjected to violence for simply doing their job,” the statement said.

Musselman didn’t mention any outbursts when he met with reporters postgame.

“If you get down 7-0 in the foul count at any level, whether it’s CYO, college, the NBA, it affects your aggressiveness defensively, especially a team that shoots foul shots percentage-wise as well as Texas A&M has all season long,” Musselman said.

Wade Taylor scored 18 points to help Texas A&M (24-8) advance for the second straight year to the semifinals, where it will play Vanderbilt, which beat Kentucky.

Arkansas (20-13) now must wait until Sunday’s NCAA tournament bracket announcement to learn its postseason fate.

Musselman said it was going to take some time to get over this stinging loss.

“For much of the game we had a lead. I mean, we had a lead for 27 minutes or whatever,” Musselman said. “Obviously we played a very good first half and a poor second half. I give Texas A&M credit for their second-half play.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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