Hogs Falter in Second Half at Auburn
BY ANDRES FOCIL
AUBURN, Ala. – It was a tale of two halves for Arkansas on Saturday afternoon as the Razorbacks followed a nearly flawless first half with a miscue-plagued second half as the 10th ranked Auburn Tigers recorded a 73-55 win at Beard Eaves Memorial Coliseum.
The Razorbacks (11-10, 3-5 SEC) sparkled in the first 20 minutes hitting 50 percent from the floor and 60 percent from the three-point arc. The Hogs hit only four of 27 from the field and mustered a season low 16 points after the halftime break.
Auburn (19-3, 7-2 SEC) quickly erased the Razorbacks’ five-point halftime lead on its way to an 18-point win. The Hogs helped the Tigers’ cause by turning the ball over 28 times, a UA SEC single game record.
“It was definitely a tale of different halves for us today,” Arkansas head coach Nolan Richardson said. “We played the type of game that we needed to play in the first half and that is why we had the lead. In the second half, we were hesitant and you could see the fear creep back in. We had way too many turnovers. Most of them weren’t even forced and that is the toughest thing to take.”
Auburn junior Scott Pohlman keyed the Tigers’ comeback by hitting four three-pointers and a total of 15 points in the second half. Pohlman led all scorers with 21 points while senior Chris Porter poured in 20 points.
“I thought Pohlman bailed them out,” Richardson said. “We neutralized Mamadou (N’diaye) and Brandon Davis did a good job on (Chris) Porter. He didn’t get many points until late. I thought Davis did an excellent job of defense on him. I was proud of the way Alonzo Lane played as well.”
Razorback sophomore Teddy Gipson scored 12 points to lead the Hogs while freshman Alonzo Lane recorded 10 points and seven rebounds.
Arkansas dictated the tempo in the first half forcing Auburn into an up-and-down game. The Razorbacks made the most of it on the way to building a 10-point lead with a little over four minutes to play in the first stanza. Porter scored six points down the stretch and helped cut the Razorback lead to five points at the half.
A tip-in by Daymeon Fishback cut the Hogs lead to three-points before Pohlman tied the game with a trey at the 16:50 mark of the second half. The Tigers continued on the run to outscore the Hogs 24-5 over a 13-inute stretch. The Hogs were held scoreless for 10 minutes during the run before Carl Baker finally hit a shot with 4:36 to play.
The Hogs cut the lead to 11 points with less than three minutes to play, but the Tigers upped the final margin with a series of breakaway dunks down the stretch.
Arkansas returns home to take on the Alabama Crimson Tide on Wednesday, Feb. 9 at Bud Walton Arena. The Razorbacks and Crimson Tide will tip things off at 7:05 p.m. in a game televised by Jefferson-Pilot Sports.
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