The Arkansas Razorbacks delivered a blow to the SEC's chances at getting five teams in the NCAA Tournament by upsetting the Alabama Crimson Tide 62-61 last night in Tuscaloosa.
The game was close for a good part of the first half, but the Hogs owned the final six minutes. Dusty Hannahs nailed a three with just under six to go to tie the game at 20-all and spark a 17-7 run to close the period with a 34-27 lead. Retin Obasohan scored six unanswered points after the break to get the game close again, and it remained tight throughout.
An Obasohan free throw with 3:38 to go gave the Tide a 58-57 lead, which shows you how little the teams scored late in this one. Moses Kingsley gave his team the lead again with a layup at the 1:44 mark, and good defense from Arkansas combined with off-the-mark shooting from the Tide prevented Bama from scoring again until Obasohan made a meaningless three just before the buzzer. Hannahs made a free throw with 17 seconds to go to put the Razorbacks up by two, and Anthlon Bell made a pair of foul shots with three seconds to go to ice it.
Obasohan shined in his final home game, scoring 32 points to lead all scorers. The most anyone else on his team got was Shannon Hale's ten, however, as the Arkansas defense held non-Obasohan players to 10/26 (38%) shooting. Kingsley's 19 points and eight boards led his team, while Bell backed him up with 17 and Hannahs put in ten. Arkansas has now won four in a row and is looking like it won't be Mike Anderson's first team to finish under .500 after all.
Earlier in the night, the Ole Miss Rebels outscored the Mississippi State Bulldogs 86-78.
Ole Miss showed some signs of potentially being able to win this one going away, as it turned a one-point lead with eight minutes to go into an eight-point halftime advantage. The Rebels extended the lead to double digits briefly after halftime before MSU battled back, but they were able to push it to double digits late in the half too in order to keep the Bulldogs at bay.
The game was a scoring contest between Stefan Moody and Gavin Ware. Moody won, putting in 43 points. He shot a crisp 45% from the field, including six of his 12 three point attempts, and also went 15-of-18 from the free throw line. Ware shot a much more efficient 11/14 from the field but ended up with 28 points along with nine rebounds.