LEXINGTON, Ky. — Scoring droughts by Arkansas at the beginning and end of the game helped No. 12 Kentucky beat the Razorbacks Saturday, 71-58.
The loss drops Arkansas to 13-13 overall and 5-9 in the Southeastern Conference. Kentucky is 19-7 and 9-5.
Arkansas, which was coming off Wednesday’s 67-59 win over No. 5 Alabama, took a 2-0 lead on a bucket by Charles Tatum and was tied 4-4, but went five minutes and 50 seconds without scoring again. UK scored nine straight and led 13-4 on a Chuck Hayes layup with 14:36 to go in the first period. Alonzo Lane ended the run with a layup and the Razorbacks eventually cut the margin to 25-23 on a dunk by Berry Jordan at the 8:13 mark.
The Wildcats scored five straight, including a three-pointer by Rashaad Carruth, to build the lead back to seven.
Arkansas was down nine at the half but closed within 55-48 on a Lane dunk with 11:09 remaining. Keith Bogans hit two straight shots to push the lead back to 11. UK led 66-52 when Jannero Pargo’s three-pointer got the Hogs within 66-55 with 6:09 to go, but the Razorbacks didn’t score again until the 56-second mark, a span of 5:13, when Michael Jones hit one of two free throws, ending a 5-0 Kentucky run.
Arkansas stayed with the Wildcats on the boards, getting outrebounded by just 39-35, but the Razorbacks shot just 37.9 percent (25-66). Kentucky shot 45.3 percent (24-53), blocked 10 shots and was 16 of 20 at the free-throw line while UA was just three of seven at the line.
Pargo was the only Razorback in double figures, scoring 13 points on five of 11 shooting, including three of six on three-pointers. He also had six rebounds, eight assists and four steals, but turned the ball over five times. Brandon Dean had eight points, Tatum seven, and Lane, Jordan and Matt Jones six each.
Tayshaun Prince led Kentucky with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Hayes, Bogans and Carruth had 10 each.
Arkansas travels to Mississippi State on Wednesday, Feb. 27, for a 7 p.m. game, which will be televised by Jefferson-Pilot Sports.