FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas raced out to two wins in Southeastern Conference play, but coach Mike Anderson knew something wasn’t quite right.

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas raced out to two wins in Southeastern Conference play, but coach Mike Anderson knew something wasn’t quite right.


It became clear in last week’s losses to Tennessee and Ole Miss. Arkansas, which prides itself on harassing opponents with a sweltering defense, was being attacked at ease. Teams were beating the press, getting to the rim for easy buckets and knocking down outside shots at an alarming rate.


"I’ve always felt like our defense hasn’t been the way it was early in the year," Anderson said during the SEC Teleconference on Monday. "So we’ve got to get back to the fundamentals of guarding people and making people take difficult shots. Keeping them out of the lane, keeping them off the boards.


"I think that’s where pride has got to come in. I think it’s got to be a collective effort."


Anderson said his team will stress defensive improvement as it tries to move past the latest stumble, falling 96-82 at home to Ole Miss. The Razorbacks (13-4, 2-2 in SEC) put together another poor defensive effort, following a rough night at Tennessee with one that nearly set Bud Walton Arena records for opponents.


Ole Miss (11-6, 2-2 in SEC) fell two points shy of the opponent scoring mark, which is shared by three other teams. The Rebels were on pace to set records for field goals made and field goal percentage, too, but fell short of those marks late.


"It can’t happen. You just can’t win that way," Arkansas guard Michael Qualls said after the Rebels went 20-for-27 in the first half. "You know there were a lot of possessions I felt like we almost had a steal, almost had a rebound. Just 33 seconds of great defense, then just bail out the last two. It’s hard to win a basketball game when they only miss seven shots in the first half. That’s ridiculous."


Arkansas made things easy for Ole Miss in the opening minutes. Big mean Bobby Portis and Moses Kingsley were in the starting lineup together once again, but the Rebels scored four buckets in the paint in the opening minutes to set the tone.


Then Ole Miss simply overwhelmed Arkansas the rest of the night. The Rebels shot 74.1 percent in the first half and finished 56.4 percent in the game. Ole Miss also committed only 11 turnovers, having little trouble breaking Arkansas’ rotation.


"Some of the shots they hit were like wide open," Portis said when asked what he thought about the defensive effort. "So that pretty much sums up that question."


Ole Miss was the extreme example of Arkansas’ defensive lapses because it happened in Fayetteville, where the Razorbacks have been dominant under Anderson. But it has been happening in some form throughout SEC play.


Tennessee shot 56.9 percent in the second half of its 74-69 win last week. Georgia had a big first half (57.7 percent) in the SEC opener before the Razorbacks buckled down and won. Vanderbilt shot 66.7 percent in the second half of an 82-70 loss.


Arkansas enters the week with opponents averaging 78.8 points in conference games. SEC teams are shooting 51.2 percent from the field and 46.8 percent behind the 3-point line against the Hogs as well. All three marks are SEC highs.


"It’s been too easy at the rim," said Anderson, who also pointed the finger at slow rotations on defense. "Our defense has got to build that wall up and make people take tough shots and rebound the basketball. I think those are things that are fixable and we will get it fixed with some extra practices this week."


The Razorbacks will try to fix the flaws in time for Thursday’s game against Alabama (12-5, 2-2). The Crimson Tide, like Arkansas, won two straight to open SEC play and carry a two-game losing streak into Bud Walton Arena.


Arkansas knows its offense will be challenged by the Crimson Tide, which is allowing an SEC-best 55 points a game in conference play. But the only thing Anderson and the Razorbacks are concerned with entering the game is repairing its own defensive problems after struggling through four games.


"It’s going to be getting back to the fundamentals of playing defense," Anderson said about Arkansas’ emphasis this week. "That’s got to be what we really put our hats on and try to make it difficult for people to score."


Hall of Fame


Former Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson has been selected for induction into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.


Richardson, who is from El Paso, played at Texas Western and began his coaching career at Bowie High, was announced as one of eight members of the 2015 class. Former Oauchita Baptist and Dallas Cowboys safety Cliff Harris also is a member of the class. The induction ceremony will be held in Waco, Texas, on April 9.


Richardson has been elected to several halls of fame after his decorated coaching career. The most recent honor came last summer, when Richardson was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.