AUBURN, Ala. — An 11-minute scoring drought by Arkansas at the end of the first half and the beginning of the second allowed Auburn to take control and hand the Razorbacks a 77-64 defeat in the regular-season finale on Saturday.
Arkansas turned the ball over a season-high 24 times and Auburn scored 28 points off those opportunities. UA shot 44 percent in the first half and 38 percent in the second. Meanwhile, Quinnel Brown couldn’t miss for the Tigers, going eight-of-eight from the field and finishing with 21 points and eight rebounds.
The Razorbacks led 12-8, 18-13, 21-16 and 27-23, but 11 first-half turnovers kept the Hogs from building a larger margin. A three-pointer by Olu Famutimi gave UA its 27-23 lead with 4:07 left in the first half, but Arkansas would not score again until the 13:25 mark of the second half.
Meanwhile, the Tigers closed the half with a 9-0 run on a three-pointer by Frank Tolbert and two threes by Ian Young to take a 32-27 lead at the break.
Auburn scored the first 12 points of the second half, five by Brown, and led 44-27 until Eric Ferguson’s steal and layup got the Razorbacks on the board with 13:25 remaining.
Arkansas, 18-11 overall and 6-10 in the Southeastern Conference, made a run and got the margin under double-digits, but the Tigers pushed their lead to 70-54 with 1:33 left.
The Razorbacks fouled to get back in the game, but Auburn made 19-of-26 free throws in the second half and 22-of-33 for the game.
UA shot 40 percent for the game (24-59) while AU hit 50 percent in the second half (11-22) to improve to 47 percent for the game (23-49). Arkansas was eight-of-10 on free throws and eight-of-26 on threes (.308) while Auburn made nine-of-21 from beyond the arc (.429).
Arkansas managed just a 35-34 rebounding advantage over the smaller Tigers. Toney Douglas had 18 points and seven rebounds for Auburn (13-16, 4-12), and Nathan Watson had 15 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
Freshman center Darian Townes led Arkansas with his second double-double of the season of 18 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Ronnie Brewer added 16 points and seven rebounds. Eric Ferguson had nine assists along with four points and three rebounds.
Senior Michael Jones started and had seven points and five rebounds, but was just two-of-eight shooting, including one-of-six on threes. Jonathon Modica also started but was two-of-seven shooting for seven points. Famutimi was three-of-six from the floor and finished with eight points.
The Razorbacks are off until Thursday when they face Tennessee at 6:30 p.m. (central) in the first round of the SEC Tournament in the Georgia Dome at Atlanta. UA beat the Volunteers, 70-68, at home this season. The game is being televised by Jefferson-Pilot Sports.