Malcolm Canada streaks to the Auburn basket against Arkansas
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. -- Auburn's Bruce Pearl didn't mind play race-horse basketball Tuesday night. The problem turned out to be Arkansas didn't mind it, either.
The Razorbacks beat Auburn 101-87 in Auburn Arena in a game that was otherwise slowed by 54 fouls, 65 free throws and four technicals.
"I didn't mind going up and down with them," Pearl said. But the problem, he added, was "we couldn't stop them." The Tigers, playing for the third time in five days, couldn't mount a comeback.
Neither Pearl nor Arkansas coach Mike Anderson had a problem with the start-and-stop game.
"The officials had to take control of the game, and I think they did a good job," Pearl said.
"I thought," Anderson said, "it was a very physical basketball game... It was two teams competing against each other."
Auburn shot a whopping 40 free throws. Arkansas shot 25.
"It was fouls both ways," said Auburn guard K.C. Ross-Miller. "We scored 80-something points on them. That should be good enough to win."
Auburn was slowed when guard Tahj Shamsid-Deen hurt his left shoulder again, and his departure early in the first half hurt the Tigers' chances, especially trying to contain the Razorbacks.
"It's unfortunate because he was playing great," said Pearl, who added the Tigers missed Shamsid-Deen's "speed and defensive ability."
Shamsid-Deen, who has had both shoulders pop out during the season, left the court in pain. He returned with his arm in a sling.
"It's probably a little bit more serious," Pearl said.
Ross-Miller and KT Harrell each scored 21 for Auburn.
Auburn, which leads the SEC in 3-pointers, hit 10 more treys. But Arkansas hit 11 3-pointers. Both teams seemed willing to share in the fouls.
Arkansas improved to 19-5 overall and 8-3 in the Southeastern Conference. Auburn fell to 11-13 overall and 3-8 in the league.
The first half took, officially, forever to play. They refs reviewed plays, there were 31 fouls and a 42 free throws were shot to extend the time on your watch.
But, oh, on the court was different.
Arkansas was in a hurry to score, taking a 58-47 halftime lead by shooting a hot 61 percent from the floor. Auburn shot a respectable 44 percent.
"I've got to give Bruce and his kids credit. They attacked us," Anderson said.
A total of 17 players scored in the first half, including Harrell, who had 17 points.
Auburn will try to rebound at Georgia on Saturday.
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine