FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Marshawn Powell scored 12 points including eight in the second half to get Arkansas close, but an abundance of Oklahoma free throws in the final 20 minutes led the Sooners to a 67-47 victory over the Razorback men’s basketball team on Wednesday night in Norman, Okla.
Powell ran into foul trouble early in the second half, forcing him to sit for a good portion of the final 20 minutes, but once he returned to the floor he was very good, scoring all eight points with four fouls. Powell and sophomore guard Rotnei Clarke, 11 points, were the only Razorbacks to score in double figures.
The Razorbacks (2-5) looked strong in the opening minutes of the game as they hit their shots and were strong on the boards allowing them to jump out to an early lead. The Sooners (4-3) were able to close a seven-point Arkansas lead to one with eight minutes in the half, but a pair of driving layups by Clarke pulled Arkansas ahead by five. Michael Sanchez hit his first basket of the 2009-10 season on the next trip down the floor and drew a foul to put the Hogs up by eight at the 3:48 mark.
A rain of three-point baskets by the Sooners allowed them to come back to within two under the two-minute mark. Steven Pledger buried a pair to get Oklahoma close and after that the Sooners got hot as a team and six of their final seven baskets came from the land of three in the final 3:48 and allowed them to take a 34-27 lead into the break.
The strong defensive play of the first half continued in the beginning of the second. Oklahoma was able to increase its lead over the first four minutes, but hit just a pair of shots as Arkansas countered with a Julysses Nobles free throw. The Sooners would increase their lead to as many as 18 but Arkansas would cut into that by driving to the basket. With eight minutes to play, the Razorbacks cut 10 points off their deficit and pull within eight.
With the lead at just eight Oklahoma weathered the onslaught by working hard down low and getting to the free throw line. With the Sooners missing shots from the floor, their free throws (11-19) in the second 20 minutes kept them ahead in the contest. As time clicked off the clock, Arkansas was forced to take some chances on the offensive end and with Oklahoma continuing to hit at the line was able to increase their lead to the final 20-point margin.
Along with Powell and Clarke on the offensive front, junior Jemal Farmer scored eight points while Sanchez hit for seven. Powell led the Razorbacks in rebounding for the second time this season with eight.
The Razorbacks return to Bud Walton Arena for their next contest, a Saturday afternoon affair with the Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils at 2 p.m. For more information regarding Razorback men’s basketball or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.