Auburn Basketball Falls to Arkansas, 77-71
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM
Kenny Gabriel

AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM
Kenny Gabriel
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

Feb. 25, 2012

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AUBURN---- Arkansas came back from a 17 point first-half deficit to defeat Auburn 77-71 behind a SEC career-high 22 points and five assists from Rickey Scott in Auburn Arena on Saturday. Allen Payne had a season-high 15 points and seven rebounds for the Tigers while Frankie Sullivan added 15 points and Kenny Gabriel 14 points, five rebounds, three blocks, two assists and two steals.

Auburn (14-14, 4-10) went on a 25-6 run to take a 27-11 lead just over midway through the first half and took its largest at 35-18 with 6:55 left after the Tigers began the game on fire. Arkansas (18-11, 6-8) closed to within 41-34 at the half to get back into it.

"They shot 58 percent in the second half," said Auburn head coach Tony Barbee. "I think it says we gave them a lot of confidence. We had them on the ropes. We just don't have the team here yet to put that kind of team away. We gave them confidence based on how we performed when we got up 17."

After Madracus Wade hit a 3-pointer to open the second half, the Tigers answered with an 8-0 run to extend their lead to 49-37 with 17:19 remaining. Arkansas then had a 16-5 spurt to close to within 54-53 with 11:32 to go.

The game stayed closed from there as neither team led by more than four points until the final margin. Arkansas took its first lead since 5-4 on a Julysses Nobles' 3-pointer that put the Hogs ahead 63-62 with 5:52 to play.

The Tigers withstood that rally and pulled back in front 66-63 and then 68-65 on a pair of Josh Wallace free throws, but the Razorbacks outscored the Tigers 12-3 to end the game.

Auburn made only 13-of-24 shots from the foul line compared to Arkansas' 18-of-23. Arkansas, which shot 58.3 percent from the floor in the second half, outshot Auburn for the game 54.2 percent to 49.1 percent. The Tigers, who shot 58.6 percent in the opening period, were only 37.5 percent from the floor after the half.

Rob Chubb added 11 points and seven rebounds for Auburn, which played without guards Varez Ward and Chris Denson, who were both suspended for violation of team rules prior to the game.

Wade added 18 points for the Hogs while BJ Young and Brandon Mitchell added 10 apiece.

Auburn plays at Alabama on Senior Night on Wednesday at 7 pm Central on the SEC Network.