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Rough second half dooms Razorbacks

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Rough second half dooms Razorbacks

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Freshman Marshawn Powell scored 14 points and junior transfer Jemal Farmer recorded his second double-double of the season for the Arkansas men’s basketball team but a dismal second half of shooting doomed the Razorbacks against Baylor on Wednesday night at Verizon Arena in Little Rock, Ark., 70-47.

Arkansas (7-6) has its five-game winning streak halted with the loss while Baylor (10-1) moves its winning streak to six games.

"I thought that we played well in the first half," Arkansas head coach John Pelphrey said. "Our defense was really competing and offensively we left some things out there. In the second half we couldn’t hit our shots and no matter how good your defense is, you can’t win by scoring like we did."

A season high 11,162 fans came out to Arkansas’ home away from home to witness the game and Pelphrey and his players could feel the energy.

"It was electric in there," Pelphrey said. "I thought that the fans were incredible."

The Bears jumped out to a quick lead, but Arkansas was able to close the gap to one by the first media timeout. Baylor then went off for another small burst that gave it an eight-point, 15-7 lead. Forced to play catch up for the second time, the Razorbacks used solid defense and the sharp shooting of Rotnei Clarke to knot the game at 19 with 10:19 left in the opening period. An eight-point Razorback comeback was started with a technical foul on Baylor which sent Clarke to the free throw line for a pair of shots. After burying both, Clarke then drained back-to-back three-point shots to make the score 19-19.

The score remained tied at 19 for the next two minutes before Baylor’s LaceDarius Dunn broke the stalemate with a layup near the eight-minute marker. Minutes later, Arkansas took its first lead of the contest on a Farmer jump shot at 6:47. Baylor would regain the lead and hold it until the halftime buzzer, but Arkansas proved that it came ready to play against the Bears who are receiving votes in the latest Associated Press poll.

Baylor increased its 34-31 lead in the second half to as many as nine early on, and up to as many as 11 mid-way through the half. Arkansas suffered from a rough stretch on the floor as it scored just five points over the opening 10 minutes of the second period as Baylor stepped up its defensive presence. Shooting just 21 percent from the floor in the closing half, Arkansas was unable to match the Bears who shot 43 percent and scored 36-second-half points.

Powell led the way for the Razorbacks with 14 points, his 10th double-digit scoring performance of the season. Clarke tallied 13 points and Farmer added 11 with a team high 10 rebounds. For the Bears it was a great night for Dunn who scored 19 points. He was joined in double figures by Quincy Acy who added 11. Ekpe Udoh was the game-changer on defense with eight blocked shots for the Bears

It was a tough night all around for Arkansas from the floor as it shot 30 percent for the game, but the Razorbacks really struggled from beyond the three-point line as it hit just two of 14 shots for 14 percent.

The Razorbacks return to Bud Walton Arena for their next contest on Saturday morning at 11 a.m. against the University of Alabama-Birmingham. For more information regarding Razorback men’s basketball or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.



Sports Category : Basketball (M)