NCAA News Wire
Arkansas 71, Kentucky 67 (OT)
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Arkansas was 16 of 16 from the foul line, making six in overtime, and the Razorbacks swept the season series with a 71-67 overtime road win over No. 17 Kentucky on Thursday night.
It was the first time in John Calipari’s five years as Wildcats coach that he has lost both regular-season matchups to a Southeastern Conference team.
The Wildcats went on a 14-2 run to take a 57-52 lead with under five minutes to play in regulation, but their physical style did not wear down a stout Arkansas frontcourt. The Wildcats were unable to get to the foul line with their usual frequency, and poor shooting once they got there aided the Razorbacks’ ability to recover.
Kentucky only made one of its four free throws in the final three minutes.
Arkansas guard Rashad Madden made two free throws with 29.6 seconds in regulation to tie the score at 60.
Kentucky point guard Andrew Harrison held for the final shot and drove to the basket, but he was blocked. Arkansas got a final shot, but forward Alandise Harris’ 30-foot heave as time expired hit the front of the rim to send the game to overtime.
Arkansas’ first basket of the game was jarring. After forward Bobby Portis stole the ball from Kentucky forward James Young 10 seconds in, Razorbacks guard Fred Gulley missed a jumper. Arkansas power forward Michael Qualls followed the shot with a tip-in.
Arkansas topped Kentucky 87-85 in their first meeting on Jan. 14 when Qualls’ put-back dunk in the final second won the game in overtime.
The Wildcats got into an offensive rhythm early in the second meeeting, scoring seven straight points and taking their largest lead of the first half at 11-7 with 15:16 to play.
But Kentucky’s offense went cold and Arkansas fed off the energy. The Razorbacks, known for their fast-paced offense, scored nine straight points in a span of two minutes and led by as many as 12 points as the first half progressed.
Kentucky struggled with physical play in the paint and had trouble finishing around the basket despite grabbing 13 offensive rebounds.
With one second left in the half, forward Julius Randle completed a three-point play to bring the Wildcats’ deficit to 37-30 at the break.
NOTES: Arkansas’ last win at Rupp Arena was Feb. 9, 1994. … John Calipari is now 82-4 at home as the Kentucky coach. … Arkansas had only won twice at Rupp Arena since joining the Southeastern Conference in 1991 before Thursday night’s game. … The Wildcats play at South Carolina on Saturday. The Razorbacks return home to face Georgia on Saturday.
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