FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Jonathon Modica had another big scoring night and Arkansas recorded its first win in six tries over a ranked team this year as the Razorbacks knocked off No. 22 Alabama, 81-70, Wednesday at Bud Walton Arena.
Modica, who had 26 points in Saturday’s 77-66 loss at then-No. 4 Florida, had another 26-point outing as UA, which is 7-0 when scoring 70 or more points, improved to 7-11 overall and 2-5 in the Southeastern Conference. Alabama, which is now 0-5 on the road, dropped to 13-6 and 3-5.
Arkansas jumped out to a quick 11-1 lead, with Modica scoring five points. The Crimson Tide, which beat Arkansas in Tuscaloosa, 61-51, on Jan. 8, cut the lead to 11-6, but the Hogs maintained a double-digit margin most of the period and led 33-18 at the half on Kendrick Davis’ three-pointer with 41 seconds left in the period.
In the second half, Modica’s three from the top of the key gave Arkansas a 51-28 lead with 14:05 to play. His six-foot jumper with 6:43 remaining gave UA a 63-41 advantage, but Alabama went on a 16-4 run with Erwin Dudley scoring six of those points to cut the margin to 67-57 with 1:55 remaining. Alabama closed within nine points twice, but Arkansas made 14 of 18 free throws in the final two minutes to secure the win.
The Hogs and Tide tied on the boards, 33-33, and each team shot more than 30 free throws. Alabama was 28 of 36, including 21 of 26 in the second period. Arkansas was 22 of 31, including 18 of 23 in the second half.
The Razorbacks made nine three-pointers in a second straight game, which matches their season high, and shot 48 percent from the floor, including 50 percent in the second half. UA held Alabama to 21.7 percent shooting in the first half (5-23) and 33.3 percent for the game.
Modica hit eight of 19 shots, including four of six threes, was six of seven at the line, and added five rebounds, two assists and two steals. Carl Baker was three of three from the field and scored a season-high matching 12 points. Dionisio Gomez added 12 points and a game-high nine rebounds.
Erwin Dudley made seven of nine shots and 15 of 16 free throws to lead Alabama with 29 points, but he was held to a season-low six rebounds. Maurice Williams and Terrance Meade added seven points each.
Arkansas travels to No. 23 Mississippi State Saturday for a 4 p.m. game televised by SEC-TV (Fox Sports Southwest).