Johnson Scores 25 as Hogs Down Alabama
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Freshman Joe Johnson scored 25 points and pulled down nine rebounds while sophomores Teddy Gipson and Brandon Dean pitched in 14 points each as Arkansas downed Alabama 81-66 at Bud Walton Arena on Wednesday night.
Johnson hit eight of 14 shots from the field including three treys and hit all six of his free throw attempts in 37 minutes of play. Both Gipson and Dean had six field goals a-piece while junior Brandon Davis also reached double-digits with 10 points.
“We’ve been on the road quite a bit,” Arkansas head coach Nolan Richardson said. “A struggling team has a hard time putting things together. We played well at times. We defeated a depleted Alabama squad. I was pleased with Joe Johnson’s effort. He has to be one of the top freshmen in the league. Brandon Dean hit some shots to get us going early.”
Arkansas (12-10, 4-5 SEC) snapped a three-game losing streak and avoided a school record four-game SEC skid by getting past an injury-riddled Crimson Tide squad. Alabama (10-11, 3-6 SEC) dressed only eight players and played without the services of top scorer Schea Cotton and key reserves Kenny Walker, Sam Haginas and Alfred Moss. The Razorbacks also had a pair of players miss the contest with T.J. Cleveland and Charles Tatum out with injuries.
Alabama got 24 points from freshman Rod Grizzard and fellow freshman Erwin Dudley pulled down a game-high 16 boards for the Crimson Tide.
Arkansas hits the road for another SEC West battle on Saturday when the Hogs visit Mississippi State. The Hogs and Bulldogs will tip things off at 2:05 p.m. in a game televised by Jefferson-Pilot Sports.
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