FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Mike Washington scored a season high 25 points to lead the Arkansas men’s basketball team to a 72-69 come-from-behind win at Bud Walton Arena on Saturday afternoon against the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks.
Washington’s 25 points were big for the Hogs, but it was his effort on the floor grabbing rebounds, making steals, diving for loose balls and taking care of the ball that loomed even larger for the Razorbacks who move to 6-5 on the year with the victory. Stephen F. Austin, who had a five-game winning streak snapped with the loss, moves to 6-3 on the year.
"That was an outstanding basketball team that they had," Arkansas head coach John Pelphrey said. "We had to work very hard and be physical today and knew that it was going to be difficult. Mike led the way for us with his energy the whole way. He did a great job."
The Razorbacks saw themselves down 33-28 at the break and outscored the Lumberjacks 44-36 in the second half. It didn’t take long for the Hogs to cut into their five-point deficit as Rotnei Clarke opened the final 20 minutes of play with a three pointer. The Razorbacks scored the first five points of the second half to tie the contest and took their first lead since midway through the opening period at the 17:13 mark when Julysses Nobles hit a shot driving to the basket.
Arkansas and Stephen F. Austin would trade leads through the 15 minute mark of the second period but one of a few massive dunks by freshman Marshawn Powell gave the Razorbacks the lead for good at 14:57. The dunk by Powell was the start of an 8-0 run by the Hogs that spanned two minutes on the clock, but Stephen F. Austin responded with six straight of its own to make it a one-point contest at 10:03.
The see-saw battle of runs continued in the late stages of the contest as the Razorbacks built a game high 11-point lead with 6:09 to play, but pinpoint shooting by the Lumberjacks and strong rebounding cut Arkansas’ lead to two with just 2:40 left. Washington made it a four-point lead with 1:14 to go and free throws by Stef Welsh, Marcus Britt and Clarke in the closing seconds secured the win. The Lumberjacks had an opportunity to tie the game with 11 seconds to go, but their shot at the buzzer missed giving Arkansas its fourth consecutive win.
The Razorbacks held the early lead in the contest, but never got far from a determined Stephen F. Austin team as Arkansas could only jump out by as many as four at any time. The Lumberjacks came back to eventually take the lead at the 9:41 mark on a Jereal Scott layup and would build upon that as the Razorbacks went through a three minute cold spell on the floor.
Washington was dominating on the floor as he hit for 17 first-half points and grabbed seven rebounds. His first-half scoring also included two three-point baskets and a steal.
For the game, Washington was 10-18 from the floor for 25 points and picked up his second double-double of the year with 11 rebounds. Welsh scored 14 for the Hogs and Britt had a perfect day going 3-3 from the floor, 1-1 from three, 4-4 from the free throw line, grabbing three rebounds and dishing out a team high five assists.
The Razorbacks are back in action on Tuesday night when they take on the Missouri State Bears at Bud Walton Arena beginning at 7 p.m. For more information regarding Razorback men’s basketball or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.