Arkansas 88, Auburn 80

Mike Anderson

Marshawn Powell had 28 points and 11 rebounds and BJ Young 22 points and 5 assists as Arkansas downs Auburn 88-80 in double overtime Wednesday night before 10,056 fans at Bud Walton Arena.

So much for that 40 Minutes of Hell stuff at Bud Walton Arena.

The 10,056 fans that showed up Wednesday night for SEC action at the Palace of Mid-America actually got 50 minutes of it.

Marshawn Powell had 28 points and 11 rebounds and B.J. Young 22 points, five assists and a huge 3-pointer with 26 seconds left in the second overtime Arkansas downed Auburn 88-80 in SEC action.

"I thought it was a well-played game between two teams that were really fighting and scratching and clawing and trying to find a way to win," Anderson said. "I was proud of our guys because Auburn wouldn't go away and we would't go away, going back and forth and at the end I guess we made enough plays to find a way to win."



Mardracus Wade added 12 points, Coty Clarke added nine points, eight rebounds and four assists in a career-high 38 minutes and Kikko Haydar eight points, two assists and no turnovers for the Razorbacks (11-5, 2-1).

Arkansas, who has now won seven of their last eight games since starting the season 4-4, got 30 points from its bench on Wednesday night in the first double overtime game ever in Bud Walton Arena.

"Our bench has always been the strongest component of our basketball team," Anderson said. "Marshawn and BJ are a really good 1-2 punch but that bench has got to give you a big lift.

"Coty Clarke played extended minutes and responded in a positive way, almost a double-double," Anderson said. "Mardracus comes off and gives us great minutes. Kikko continues to give us great minutes coming off the bench. We went with some guys that were in a rhythm and responded well."

Young played 47 minutes, Powell 44, Clarke 38, Wade 35 and Fred Gulley 31 for the Razorbacks, whose last double overtime game was a 100-97 road win over Texas A&M back on Feb. 24, 1987.

"That's a lot of minutes but they had guys playing 48 and 47 minutes," Anderson said. "The key is you play to win and I thought our guys did. Our students were back on campus and they were into it. I say our fans are worth eight points and we won by eight, so thank you, fans."

Auburn (8-8, 2-1) had won their last three games, including a road win at South Carolina in its previous outing last Saturday.

Tigers head coach Tony Barbee praised his team for its road effort.

"It was a tough game," Barbee said. "We talk about in league play just giving ourselves an opportunity on the road. You've got to take care of home court. That's what Arkansas did tonight. We gave ourselves a chance to win on the road and I'm proud of the way our guys fought."

Auburn senior guard Frankie Sullvan had a team-high 26 points – 22 of those coming in the second half when he hit five 3-pointers – while senior center Rob Chubb added 11 points and 12 rebounds before fouling out.

The Razorbacks used a 17-0 run fueled by its bench in the first half to take an 11-point lead in the first half and led 34-27 at intermission.

But Auburn hit 12 of its first 15 shots in the second half and eventually took a 64-59 lead on Sullivan's 3-pointer with 6:27 left.

"They are veteran guys and they make plays," Anderson said. "The formula to win on the road is obviously you have got to defend but you also have got to make shots and they made shots time after time, especially in the second half.

"I thought in the first half the tempo was going to our liking and we go into halftime with a seven-point lead," Anderson said, " but the second half they started establishing tempo and getting the ball inside to Chubb and then Frankie Sulllivan, who I have known for quite awhile, and he gets loose."

Young's lay-up and Wade's two free throws brought Arkansas within one before Powell swished a 3-pointer to give his team a 66-64 lead with 2:42 left.

Fred Gulley's free throw with 2:04 left extended that lead to three, but Wade missed a pair of free throws that would likely have sealed it with 25 seconds left.

Sullivan missed a bomb from the corner, but Allen Payne corralled a long rebound and buried a 3-pointer to tie it 67-67 with five seconds left.

Young could not get a shot off in traffic at the end of the first overtime.

Wade nailed two free throws to tie it 75-75 with 35 seconds left in the first overtime, but both teams missed shots that would have won it after that.

Powell's jumper gave Arkansas the lead to open the second overtime and the Razorbacks would never trail.

Young's 3-pointer with 26 seconds left – and just two seconds on the shot clock – all but sealed the win as it pushed the lead to 84-78.

"The shot he took (in regulation) with five seconds the defense collapsed on him and you have got to learn to trust your teammates," Anderson said. "Sometimes a lot of guys who are very good basketball players and used to making plays in high school. But you get on the collegiate level everybody does scouting and they know how to play you. Now you have to trust the other guy.

"But as I told him you will make up for it," Anderson said. "That's the confidence I have in him and sure enough he did."

Wade – who had six of Arkansas' eight points in the first overtime – responded well while coming off the bench for the second straight time after 46 consecutive starts.

"I mean it's a relief," Wade said. "That was a burden on my back and today I just wanted to be focused and go out there and play kind of freely. BJ talked to me after the shoot around and said, 'Whatever happens, just go out there and play. I don't care if you shoot five in a row, just go out there and let it fly.

"Not saying I was going to go out there and jack up five, but it let me know I just had to play a little more and that's what I did try to come in and help my team anyway I can offense or defense," Wade added. "I think the team played great tonight."

Anderson said that's what he expected from Wade.

"Mardracus is a third-year junior and you expect some accountability," Anderson said. "I thought he played without thinking, got after it and took shots as they came. He did a good job making big plays going down the stretch. He played with his heart. I thought our team played with their hearts."

Anderson did not play freshmen Anthlon Bell, Jacorey Williams and Dee Wagner while starters Hunter Mickelson and Rickey Scott played just 12 and 10 minutes respectively.

"You get in SEC rotation you have got to go with the guys that are playing well and shorten your bench," Anderson said. "There will be times those guys play but tonight we needed that blue collar."

Arkansas will return to action Saturday when it travels to face Ole Miss in Oxford at 12:30 p.m. while Auburn hosts Kentucky on the same day.

"We just have got to bring it," Powell said. "Everybody has to get on the bus even before we leave here with their minds made that we are not going to come and show what we showed at Texas A&M. We are going to play until the clock says 0:00."

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