FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas jumped on Auburn early for the second time in two meetings this year on Wednesday, but this time the Razorbacks made the lead stick as they rolled past the Tigers, 74-52, at home.
On Jan. 21 at Auburn, Arkansas led by 19 in the first half and by 13 at the break, but Auburn came back in the second period to post a 70-63 victory. The Razorbacks would have none of that on Wednesday.
UA held Auburn to 27.3 percent shooting in the first half and forced 16 Tiger turnovers in jumping out to a 36-16 lead at the half. Auburn led 8-6 early, but a Ronnie Brewer tip-in started a 30-4 run by the Hogs for a 36-12 lead with 1:31 left in the first half.
In the second period, Arkansas shot 54.2 percent while holding Auburn to 29 percent shooting.
“We’ve been down, but we didn’t stay down,” Arkansas head coach Stan Heath said. “You’ve got to give a lot of credit to these guys. They came out and played with confidence tonight. We were able to take them out of their rhythm and cause confusion. We were able to hold our own on the glass.
In the first meeting, AU had a 47-35 rebounding advantage with 27 of the Tigers’ boards coming on the offensive end. In the rematch, Auburn had a 35-34 advantage with 12 offensive rebounds.
The Tigers cut a 51-25 deficit to 57-39 with 8:52 remaining, but never got closer than 19 the rest of the way.
UA made 28 of 56 shots for the game, 50 percent, and also shot 50 percent from three-point range, 10-of-20. The Razorbacks had 20 assists and 12 turnovers, and recorded 10 steals while forcing 18 turnovers.
“We played together tonight,” Heath said. “We need that kind of effort every night. There were lots of momentum plays because the guys were sharing the ball with each other.”
The 22-point margin of victory is the largest for Arkansas in an SEC games since beating LSU 86-64 on Jan. 27, 1999.
Michael Jones came off the bench and made six-of-seven shots, including five-of-six threes, for a game-high 17 points. Matt Jones made four-of-five shots and finished with a career-high 11 points. Brewer had 10 points, five rebounds and three assists, and Eric Ferguson added nine points, five boards and five assists.
Dwayne Curtis was the only Tiger in double figures with 11 points.
Arkansas travels to LSU on Saturday for a noon contest televised by Jefferson-Pilot Sports.