FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Led by a career-high 24 points from junior Rashad Mapen and a near double-double by freshman Bobby Portis that featured 18 points, the Arkansas men’s basketball team picked up a wire-to-wire 86-67 SEC win over Auburn on Saturday at Bud Walton Arena.
Fueled by Portis (@BPortisTime), who made his presence felt in the first half with 14 points and six rebounds, Arkansas climbed out of its offensive struggles behind the two-time SEC Freshman of the Week as it embarked on a 17-3 run that absorbed 5:41 off the clock and ended in a 31-16 advantage for the home team. Portis had 10 points during the run, accounting for the first five and the last five.
Owning a 49-38 lead with 14:46 left in the second half after eight straight points from redshirt senior Fred Gulley III (@FG_3_), Mapen (@RKMapen00) took the game over, scoring 19 of Arkansas’ final 37 points. Mapen finished the second half with a perfect shooting clip, hitting 4-of-4 from the field, both three-pointers and 9-of-9 at the free throw line.
Portis finished a rebound shy of his fourth double-double of the year, leading the team for the eighth time this year on the boards with nine rebounds to go along with his 18 points. Mapen’s 24 points bested his career-high he set on Jan. 11, when he scored 23 against Florida.
Key To The Contest Led by three players with five assists, Arkansas passed out 21 helpers on its 28 made field goals. During the second half in which the Razorbacks made 17-of-26 from the field and assisted on 14 of those made shots. Senior Coty Clarke (@CTC_4), Mapen and sophomore Michael Qualls (@Mr_WalkOnAir) all tied for the team lead with five assists.
Quick Hits âž¢ The win is the 250th of Coach Anderson’s career. âž¢ Arkansas passed out 20+ assists for the fifth time this season (5-0). âž¢ Coach Anderson-led teams are now 80-1 when passing out 20+ assists. âž¢ Arkansas has won 25 of the last 26 games at Bud Walton Arena and is 11-1 this season. âž¢ The Razorbacks have led from start-to-finish in six games at BWA. âž¢ Arkansas has trailed for 42:44 at home over 490 minutes (12 games) at home. âž¢ Arkansas shot 65 percent (17-26) in the second half. âž¢ The 50 second half points marked the eighth time Arkansas has scored 50+ points in a half. âž¢ Mapen’s 24 points in the most by a Razorback this season. âž¢ Mapen has a team-high three 20-point games, including two in SEC play. âž¢ Mapen has finished in double figures in 14 of the last 16 games. âž¢ Portis’ 18 points are his most in SEC play. âž¢ Arkansas is 6-2 when Portis leads the way in rebounding. âž¢ Gulley scored in double figures for the third straight game, the longest streak in his career.
Coach Anderson Postgame Sound “I was happy with how aggressive we were after a slow start on the offensive end. The guys did a nice job of moving the ball tonight and the result of that was good looks which led to a high second half shooting percentage. We also showed the blue collar style we need to be successful with the guys diving for loose balls and creating chaos.”
#Fastest40 Facts âž¢ Won the turnover battle (18-12) for the 22nd time in the last 23 contests, including 18 of 19 this season. âž¢ First time since 2009 vs. Alcorn State that three Razorbacks have had five assists in a game via @HogStats. âž¢ Arkansas has won the turnover battle in 71 of 83 games under Anderson, while Anderson-led teams have won the turnover battle in 323 of his 381 career games.
@RazorbackMBB Postgame Tweetables (140 Characters Or Less) âž¢ Congrats to @MikeAndersonUA on his 250th career win … his teams are 80-1 all-time when passing out 20+ assists #Fastest40 âž¢ Junior Rashad Mapen (@rkmapen00) has a team-best 3 20-point games this season and is averaging 17.7 points in SEC play. #YouMapenBro âž¢ .@RazorbackMBB returns to BWA on Tuesday to take on @MizzouHoops on @ESPNU at 6 p.m. Razorbacks have won 25 of last 26 at home.
Social Media Recap Did you get in on the in-game conversation through Twitter at @RazorbackMBB during today’s 86-67 win over Auburn? Checkout the social media recap from tonight’s game and join in next time by mentioning @RazorbackMBB or utilizing the hashtag #Fastest40. Join the 17,800+ by following @RazorbackMBB on Twitter and don’t forget about Facebook (/RazorbackMBB) and Instagram (@RazorbackMBB).
Click here to see this game’s Social Media Recap and look to see if your Tweets are featured!
Up Next Arkansas will finish off its run of two games in four days at Bud Walton Arena on Tuesday when it hosts Missouri (15-4, 3-3) at 6 p.m. on ESPNU.