FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas rallied from a 17-point second-half deficit, but Wake Forest hit enough big shots and free throws down the stretch to hold off the Razorbacks, 76-71, in a second-round preseason NIT game Friday.
Wake Forest led most of the game and stretched a 39-36 halftime advantage to 50-40 six minutes into the second half on a Darius Songaila jumper. Wake Forest outscored Arkansas 17-7 over the next seven minutes to take its largest lead at 64-47 on a Songaila free throw with 7:09 to play.
UA freshman J.J. Sullinger scored the game’s next six points to pull the Razorbacks within 64-53. Jannero Pargo, who led Arkansas with 19 points, scored on three driving layups and Teddy Gipson, who had 12 points, hit a three to cut the margin to 69-62 with 2:08 left.
Pargo made a pair of threes to get the Hogs within 73-71 with 32 seconds to play, but Broderick Hicks made two free throws with 22 seconds to go and Craig Dawson added another with nine seconds left for the final margin.
Hicks, who along with Songaila had 15 points, was just two of five at the line before his last two attempts.
Wake Forest shot 49 percent from the field, made 20 of 32 free throws and had just 17 turnovers against UA’s defense. Arkansas shot 36 percent from the floor and had 15 turnovers. The Razorbacks made 34 trips to the line, hitting 21 shots.
Dionisio Gomez had five points and career highs of 11 rebounds and six steals before fouling out after playing 24 minutes.
Pargo was eight of 13 shooting, but no other Razorback who took at least three shots made 50 percent or better.
Josh Howard had 16 points for Wake Forest while Antwan Scott added 10.
Arkansas plays host to Oral Roberts Sunday at 1 p.m. in a game televised by ARSN.