FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The EA Sports Central All-Stars rallied from a 19-point second-half deficit to knock off Arkansas, 87-84, in an exhibition game at Bud Walton Arena on Tuesday.
Arkansas led 58-39 on a T.J. Cleveland three-pointer with 16:20 to play and maintained a double-digit advantage until the 7:25 mark when Duane Simpkins scored two of his 17 points to get EA Sports within 71-62. Simpkins hit a three-pointer two minutes later and LaDarion Jones’ three with 2:57 remaining gave the All-Stars their first lead of the game, 79-78.
Alonzo Lane, who had a double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds, scored on a layup to put the Razorbacks in front, but Kris Johnson answered with a trey and EA Sports made five of eight free throws the rest of the way to get the win.
“We shot too many air balls that didn’t even have a chance to go in,” head coach Nolan Richardson said. “We got the lead and started shooting jump shots. In the second half, we shot no free throws and the reason is we stopped attacking the glass. Our defense was pretty good because we made a team with good players turn the ball over 26 times. We have to attack the basket a little better.”
The Hogs forced 26 turnovers but shot just 36 percent in the second half (17 of 47) while the All-Stars were 16 of 26 in the second period (61.5 percent). UA shot 39.3 percent for the game (35 of 89), including just nine of 35 from three-point range.
EA Sports outscored Arkansas 17-5 at the free throw line, getting 27 shots to six for the Razorbacks.
Kenyan Weakes led EA Sports with 19 points on eight of 11 shooting. Jimmy Carroll had 12 points and Johnson 10.
Teddy Gipson led Arkansas with 14 points on six of 12 shooting. Dionisio Gomez had a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds, and Charles Tatum added 10 points, all in the first half.
The Razorbacks play their second and final exhibition game on Friday at 8 p.m. against Team Ezybonds, a team from Australia. Arkansas opens the regular season on Monday with a 7 p.m. game against Maine in the first round of the preseason NIT.