Hogs’ Late Run Comes Up Short
BY ANDRES FOCIL
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Providence had a hot hand in the first half and the Friars held on for dear life in the second to squeak by Arkansas 87-81 at the Providence Civic Center on Thursday night.
The Friars (5-5) shot a blistering 18-30 (.600) from the field in the first half including hitting six of seven three-point shots. Arkansas (6-4) made a run in the second half and tied the game with just over three minutes to play, but three key turnovers spoiled the Hogs’ comeback hopes.
“I was proud of our effort and the way we battled back,” Arkansas head coach Nolan Richardson said. “We are still young though and you could tell that down the stretch when we made some key mistakes. You can see us coming around. We just can’t afford to give the ball up down the stretch that many times and expect to win.”
Providence’s Donta Wade put on a shooting exhibition in the first half nailing five of the six three-pointers he took including a double-pump buzzer beater at the end of the first 20 minutes. Wade finished with 24 points to lead all scorers.
Four Razorbacks finished in double figures with sophomores T.J. Cleveland and Brandon Dean leading the way with 20 points a piece. Cleveland and Dean set new career highs along with freshman Carl Baker who poured in 13 points along with seven rebounds. Senior Chris Walker came one carom shy of his first career double-double collecting 15 points and nine rebounds.
Arkansas will take a break for Christmas before taking on Alcorn State on Dec. 28 at Bud Walton Arena. The 7:05 p.m. game will be televised by the Arkansas Razorback Sports Network.
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