TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Arkansas got off to a good start, but the Razorbacks went cold in the second half while Alabama got hot as the Crimson Tide rallied for an 81-65 Southeastern Conference victory on Wednesday.
The loss drops Arkansas to 8-6 overall and 0-3 in the SEC while Alabama improves to 9-4 and 1-1.
Arkansas led most of the first half. UA shot 48 percent in the first period, including 58 percent on three-pointers (7-12), as the Razorbacks took three different five-point leads.
The Razorbacks led 18-13 on a bucked by Jonathon Modica, who came off the bench for the first time this season, and 32-27 on a three by Michael Jones with 3:29 left in the opening half.
Chuck Davis scored five points the rest of the half and after a free throw by Ronnie Brewer, Emmett Thomas’ dunk just before the buzzer cut UA’s lead to 35-34 at the break.
After shooting 44 percent in the first half, Alabama connected on 56.5 percent of its shots in the second period. Meanwhile, UA shot just 38 percent and made only one of eight three-pointers.
Alabama also went to the free throw line 35 times compared to 10 for Arkansas with the Tide having a 25-5 scoring advantage at the stripe. The Razorbacks were three of five at the line in the second period while Alabama was 19 of 26.
Kennedy Winston was six of eight from both the floor and the line in the second half to finish with a game-high 25 points. Chuck Davis went two of two from the field and six of seven at the line in the second half to finish with 17 points and nine rebounds. Earnest Shelton, Alabama’s leading scorer coming in, made just four of 13 shots for the game, but was eight of 12 at the line for 19 points.
Winston’s three early in the second half put Alabama up 37-35 and his two free throws at the 13:04 mark gave the Tide a 49-41 lead. A three-point play by Vincent Hunter got Arkansas within 49-44, but Alabama went on a 15-2 scoring run over the next six minutes to stretch the lead to 64-46. The first nine points of the run came at the free throw line with Davis making the first six and Thomas the last three.
Kendrick Davis’ jumper pulled Arkansas within 58-46, but Winston and Thomas scored buckets, and Alabama completed the run with free throws by Shelton and Winston.
Modica finished with a team-high 17 points for Arkansas. Brewer and Olu Famutimi scored nine each, and Jones, Hunter and Billy Pharis added seven each. Brewer added nine rebounds, four assists, two blocked shots and five steals, but he had six of UA’s 16 turnovers.
The Razorbacks play host to Ole Miss Saturday at 2:05 p.m. in a non-televised game.