Shooting and Rebounding Woes Doom Hogs
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas’ shooting woes continued and Wake Forest made the most of free throw opportunities as the 23rd ranked Demon Deacons downed the Razorbacks 70-64 in front of 18,221 at Bud Walton Arena on Monday night.
Wake Forest (8-1) rallied from a three-point halftime deficit to hand Arkansas (6-3) only its fifth non-conference loss at Walton Arena in seven seasons. Both teams had the same field goal numbers, but the Demon Deacons outscored the Hogs by nine points at the charity stripe and out-rebounded the Hogs by 17 caroms.
Robert O’Kelley led the Deacons with 15 points while Antwan Scott and Broderick Hicks each scored 12 points. Razorback senior Chris Walker was the only Hog in double figures with 15 points.
“What is sad is looking at the rebounding and free throw statistics,” Arkansas head coach Nolan Richardson said. “They killed us on the offensive boards. As little as we are, we have to be around 70 percent from the free throw line against at team as good as Wake Forest.”
Arkansas charged out to a 14-2 lead to start the game including two three-pointers from Brandon Dean. Wake Forest returned the favor with a 15-2 run to regain the lead at 17-16. The teams battled to the halftime buzzer with Charles Tatum hitting a trey to give the Hogs a three-point lead at the intermission.
Both teams took turns with the lead early in the second half including Arkansas taking a one-point margin on a Jason Gilbert layup with 8:01 to play. That was the last lead for the Razorbacks however as the Demon Deacons held on for a six point victory.
“We have some talent,” Richardson said. “We’re not shooting the ball as well as I thought we would. We go up and down. We take two steps forward, the go backward two steps. It will be a while before we gel. I told our team we don’t lose two games early at Bud Walton Arena. I hope we can turn that around.”
Arkansas will travel to Providence, R.I. to battle the Providence Friars on Thursday night. The 7:05 p.m. game will be televised by the Arkansas Razorback Sports Network.
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