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Razorbacks beat Alabama for first SEC victory

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Razorbacks beat Alabama for first SEC victory

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – A career night by Rotnei Clarke helped the Arkansas men’s basketball team defeat Alabama, 89-80, and earn its first Southeastern Conference victory of the season. The freshman guard poured in a career-high 26 points on 9-of-13 shooting to lead the Razorbacks. Arkansas (13-5, 1-4) snapped a four-game losing streak with the victory over the Crimson Tide (12-8, 2-4). Michael Washington and Michael Sanchez added 17 and 13 points, respectively, while Courtney Fortson dished out nine assists, the most by the freshman guard during SEC play. It is Fortson’s sixth game with at least nine assists this season. Jason Henry tied a career high with eight rebounds against the Crimson Tide.Clarke extended the Razorback lead, 57-44, with a three-point basket that fell through after a few bounces on the rim. Alabama knocked the lead under double digits, but the Hogs responded with a spurt capped by a Washington tip back that pushed the lead to 14 and the home team led, 72-58.The Crimson Tide answered with an 11-3 run to cut the Arkansas advantage to six with 3:17 to play in the game. Arkansas quieted the threat by stepping to the free-throw line and making its final 14 attempts from the charity stripe. The Hogs finished the night connecting on 28 of their 35 free throws.JaMychal Green led a group of four Crimson Tide double-digit scorers with 24 points.In the first half, Alabama led by three when the home team went on a 14-2 run, sparked by nine points from Clarke during the stretch, and took a 22-13 lead with 9:50 remaining in the opening half of play. Arkansas’ streak forced an Alabama timeout. Clarke connected on a jump shot with just under five minutes to play in the first half to give Arkansas its first double-digit lead of the game. The Razorbacks led, 31-21.Clarke finished the first half with 14 points to lead all scorers at the break.Coming off the bench, Henry chipped in seven points during the first half, including a three pointer with 11 seconds before halftime that gave the Razorbacks the 38-31 advantage at intermission.It was Arkansas’ first lead at halftime during SEC play. The Razorbacks improve to 9-0 when leading at the break.The Hogs travel to Baton Rouge for their next conference game, a Jan. 31 matchup with the LSU Tigers. The game is scheduled for a 4 p.m. start. For continued coverage, visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.



Sports Category : Basketball (M)