Jan. 25, 2012
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.----Kenny Gabriel had 13 points and eight rebounds while Chris Denson and Frankie Sullivan had 10 points apiece but Auburn fell short 56-53 to Arkansas in Bud Walton Arena on Wednesday. It was the second straight SEC road heartbreaker for Auburn as the Tigers lost at LSU in overtime eight days ago
Gabriel missed a game-tying 3-pointer just before the buzzer after the Razorbacks missed a front end of a one and one. Arkansas ran its record to 15-0 in Bud Walton Arena. Auburn fell to 12-8 overall and 2-4 in the SEC.
"Any time you lose like that, it is a heartbreaker," said Auburn head coach Tony Barbee. "I am proud of the guys with the way they fought. Any time you go on the road in this conference and you can play that hard and fight that tough and give yourself an opportunity to win, that's all you can ask for. We had our chances. Unfortunately, they made a couple more plays than we did at the end."
Down 54-51, Sullivan and Chris Denson missed a pair of 3-pointers on the same possession and Rob Chubb had the rebound ripped from his hands and Julysses Nobles, who had 10 points, all in the second half, had a slam dunk on the other end to give Arkansas its largest lead of the game at 56-51 with 20 seconds left.
Rickey Scott scored eight straight points for the Razorbacks giving Arkansas a 47-43 lead with 6:53 to play after a steal and layup for a 5-0 Hog run. Chris Denson's driving layup made it 52-51 Arkansas with 2:32 left.
The Tigers took their largest lead of the game at 37-30 on a Gabriel putback monster slam with 13:05 to go, but the Razorbacks responded with seven straight to tie it two minutes later.
"It was a pretty tough game," said Gabriel. "The crowd was in it pretty much the whole game, especially when they went on runs. I feel like if we had taken care of the ball a little bit better and made a couple more plays, we would have won the game."
Auburn held Arkansas (15-5, 3-2) scoreless for the first 5:49 of the game as the Razorbacks missed their first 10 shots after making their first 11 field goal attempts in a 66-64 upset win over #19 Michigan on Saturday.
BJ Young hit a 3-pointer to bring Arkansas to within 14-13 with 4:29 remaining as the Hogs went almost 10 minutes without a field goal. Adrian Forbes slammed an offensive putback to give Auburn a 22-19 halftime lead while the Tigers held Arkansas to 4-of-27 (.148) shooting from the field and 1-of-10 from 3-point range.
Arkansas outscored Auburn 10-2 from the foul line in the first half to keep the game close. Auburn had a short bench as the Tigers played over half the game without Varez Ward and Josh Langford, who both suffered injuries.
Arkansas, which shot 55.6 percent from the field in the second half and made 5-of-9 three-pointers, was led by BJ Young's 11 points while Nobles and Rashad Madden had 10 points each.
Auburn outshot Arkansas from the field 40 percent to 35 percent and outrebounded the Razorbacks 44-29. The Razorbacks were 6-of-19 from 3 and 12-of-19 from the foul line to the Tigers' 5-of-17 from 3 and 6-of-10 free throws. Auburn had 21 turnovers to Arkansas' 11, only two in the second half. Arkansas outscored Auburn 21-16 in points off turnovers but the Tigers had a 15-3 edge in second chance points.
Auburn closes out its two-game road trip at Tennessee on Saturday at 5 pm CT on ESPN2.