CLEMSON, S.C. – Clemson erased a six-point deficit with just over a minute left in regulation and went on to defeat the No. 18 Arkansas men’s basketball team 68-65 in overtime on Sunday at Littlejohn Coliseum.
Junior Michael Qualls and sophomore Bobby Portis combined for 39 of the team’s 65 points, as the Razorbacks dropped their second road game of the week to move to 6-2. Clemson now stands at 5-3.
Arkansas trailed by as many as nine, 29-20, in the first half, but used a 14-1 run in the second half to turn what was a five-point deficit (36-31) into an eight point lead, 45-37, at the 11:09 mark of the second half. The Razorbacks sped up the slow-paced game during the run, limiting Clemson to just 1-of-7 from the field with five turnovers.
The Razorback lead dipped to 53-51 with 3:08 to play before turning to Portis for back-to-back buckets, with the last coming at the 1:17 mark to make it 57-51.
Arkansas wouldn’t get a shot off the rest of regulation, as Clemson scored on its next possession and forced two straight turnovers that led to layups that tied the game at 57-57. Despite the 6-0 run, the Razorbacks had the ball with nine seconds left and a chance for the win, but never got a shot off before the horn sounded.
Clemson scored the first five points of overtime and Arkansas was able to cut it to a one-possession game a pair of times on three-pointers by junior Athlon Bell and Qualls. Following Qualls’ three with 1:01 left, the Razorbacks were able to come up with two straight stops. Unfortunately, a missed layup and Qualls game-tying three-point bid in the final seconds came up short.
Qualls’ game-high 21 points marked his third 20-point outing in the last four games while Portis’ 18 points featured 12 in the second half. The duo combined for 27 of Arkansas’ 37 points over the last 26:35 in regulation while accounting for 13 of the team’s 28 rebounds.
The two teams shared nearly identical stat lines across the board, as Clemson had three players with 14 or more points. Junior Rod Hall led the way with 19 points, including four in the 6-0 run to end regulation and a three-pointer to open overtime.
#RazorStat Of The Game
With his turnaround jumper from the right baseline in the first half, senior Alandise Harris reached the 1,000-point plateau for his collegiate career (Arkansas and Houston).
@RazorbackMBB Quick Hits
• First time since 1992-93 that Arkansas has played three non-conference road games.
• First time in the last 25 non-conference games that Arkansas has been held below 70 points.
• First time since 1998-99 that the Razorbacks have played two ACC teams in the regular season.
• Qualls’ 21 points marked his team-leading fourth 20-point game of the year.
• Qualls has scored 20+ points in three of his last four games.
• Portis and Qualls have reached double figures in seven of eight games.
Coach Anderson Postgame Sound
“We didn’t do what we’ve been talking about all offseason and that’s finish. I’ll take the blame on this one. I didn’t get the right guys in the game in the right situations. It’s been a tough week with two road games, but these are things you have to overcome to be a good team. We’ll bounce back and use this as game to learn from.”
No. 18 Arkansas will now play four of its next five games at the friendly confines of Bud Walton Arena starting with Atlantic 10 foe Dayton (6-1) on Saturday, December 13. The Flyers advanced to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight last year while the meeting will be just the second between the two programs. Tip is slated for 1 p.m. on ESPN2.