FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas rallied from a six-point deficit in the final two minutes, but Eric Ferguson’s midcourt shot at the buzzer hit the backboard and bounced off the front of the rim as No. 22 Tulsa survived an upset bid by Arkansas on Saturday, 61-60.
Kevin Johnson, who had 13 points and eight rebounds for the Golden Hurricane, made a free throw with 2:32 remaining to give Tulsa a 61-55 advantage. Ferguson hit a three-pointer 24 seconds later and Alonzo Lane’s post-up layup with 41 seconds to go got the Razorbacks (1-2) within one. Tulsa ran the clock down and missed a shot.
Arkansas, which had a 41-26 rebounding advantage, including 18 offensive rebounds and a 22-9 scoring advantage on second-chance points, rebounded the miss and Ferguson launched the last shot from near midcourt with just more than a second to play.
Tulsa, which got 17 points from Antonio Reed and 16 from Dante Swanson, improved to 3-0 with the win.
The Golden Hurricane (3-0) shot 44.9 percent while holding UA to 40 percent. Tulsa made just 12 of 21 free throws, but Arkansas hit only six of 12.
“We played a very good team today,” head coach Stan Heath said. “I am really proud of my guys and the effort they put forth. We only shot 50 percent from the line and that’s not good. It has to improve in order to win ballgames. “Dionisio Gomez did a great job scoring and Jonathon Modica had a really solid performance.”
Arkansas, which was down 35-31 at the half, trailed by nine with 11:26 to play. Lane hit a free throw, and Carl Baker made two layups and Gomez scored to get the Hogs within 52-50 with 8:37 remaining. Gomez, who finished with a double-double of 13 points and a career-high tying 12 rebounds, hit a 10-footer to close the gap to 56-55 with 4:18 to go.
Swanson and Jason Parker scored on layups, and Johnson made the free throw to give Tulsa its six-point advantage with 2:32 left.
Gomez had his only other double-double last year in the 79-75 victory at Tulsa when he had career highs of 18 points and 12 rebounds.
Ferguson finished with 14 points. Modica had 12 points on five of six shooting and six rebounds.
Arkansas plays host to Troy State Tuesday at 7 p.m. in a game televised by ARSN.