TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Arkansas rallied from a big first-half deficit, but Chuck Davis was too much in the second half as No. 16 Alabama posted a 72-63 Southeastern Conference victory Wednesday.
The loss snaps Arkansas’ three-game winning streak and leaves the Razorbacks 17-8 overall and 5-7 in the SEC. Alabama is 20-4 and 9-2.
UA led 39-37 early in the second half but Davis hit two straight buckets, Earnest Shelton made a three and Evan Brock hit two free throws in a 9-2 run that put Alabama in front 48-41 with 13:08 left. Arkansas got within four on a free throw by Ronnie Brewer and a score inside by Darian Townes, but Davis scored five points in a 10-4 run to put Alabama up 58-48 at the 7:56 mark.
The Razorbacks got within seven five times the rest of the game, but Alabama made eight free throws in the last three minutes to keep the Hogs from getting any closer.
For the game, Alabama was 24-of-36 at the line, including 13-of-22 in the second half, while Arkansas was seven-of-12. The Crimson Tide shot 53.7 percent from the floor (22-41), including 63.2 percent in the second half (12-19).
Davis made half of Alabama’s buckets in the second half, going six-of-eight in the period, and was seven-of-nine for the game and seven-of-13 at the line for a game-high 21 points. He scored 16 of Alabama 39 second-half points.
Arkansas shot 42.9 percent in the first half (12-28) and 43.3 percent in the second (13-30), and had 16 turnovers, but stayed close by outrebounding the Tide 33-29 with 17 of those boards coming on the offensive end.
Townes recorded the first double-double of his career with 14 points on seven-of-14 shooting and a game and career-high 12 rebounds, including six offensive boards.
Arkansas trailed 28-16 at the 7:27 mark of the first half, but scored 10 straight points, including two three-pointers by Jonathon Modica. Down five with two minutes left, Olu Famutimi and Eric Ferguson’s hit threes to give the Razorbacks a 34-33 lead at the half, marking the first time this year Alabama has trailed a home game at the half.
The Hogs hit six of their first eight three-point attempts, but Alabama used a 2-3 zone extensively in the second period and Arkansas missed all nine attempts to finish six-of-17 (.353).
Modica was six-of-seven shooting and led UA with 16 points while Brewer had 11 points, but made just four-of-13 shots. Famutimi had nine points and Ferguson eight.
Shelton had 19 points for Alabama and Kennedy Winston 18.
Arkansas travels to Nashville Saturday for a 6 p.m. (central) game at Vanderbilt. The game is being televised by Fox Sports Net, which is Fox Sports Southwest in Arkansas.