Photo credit: AP
Razorbacks win! Just win, baby! UA 71 UK 67
It's been over two decades, February 1994 to be exact, since the Hogs won a game on the Kentucky Wildcats home floor -- Rupp Arena. But Arkansas (19-9, 8-7) pulled off the biggest win of their season tonight when they broke that long, painful losing skid.
The Hogs kept their NCAA Tournament hopes alive thanks to the victory, in overtime, against the Big Blue Nation. Both Arkansas victories against No. 17 Kentucky (21-7, 11-4) this season took overtime to achieve, but the sweet memories of victory and elation from those games make the in-game angst and nervousness all worth it now.
Arkansas built a double-digit lead in the first half and led 37-30 at halftime. Kentucky trailed for most of the second half, but were able to get over the hump and take the lead 57-52 with 4:44 to play in the game.
Missed free throws by the Wildcats kept the door open for Arkansas and the Hogs tied the game 60-60 on two free throws by Rashad Madden to send the contest to overtime. The Razorback grabbed the lead quickly in the extra session and never looked back.
"What a great ball game, I tell you what," said Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson. "It seemed like neither team wanted to give into the other and it took overtime."
Kentucky's James Young made a three-point basket with :33 seconds to play to pull UK within two points 69-67, but the Cats could get no closer. The Hogs hit their free throws, all of them, believe it or not (16-of-16), and escaped Lexington with a 71-67 victory.
"We took two steps back today," said Kentucky head coach John Calipari. "And give them credit, they played hard. You know, they turned us over." (See clips from post game press conference below).
Michael Qualls led the Hogs with 14 points, while Madden added 12 points of his own. And for the second game in a row, Anthlon Bell scored in double digits with 10 points. Coty Clarke also scored in double figures with 11 points.
UP NEXT: Georgia Bulldogs
WHEN: Saturday, Mar. 1
WHERE: Bud Walton Arena
TIP: 3 p.m.
TV: KATV 7 -- SEC Network
NOTEWORTHY: Arkansas has won 4 games in a row and 6 of their last 7.