FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) -- Arkansas made sure it would avoid
overtime Saturday, dominating Auburn on both ends of the court and
erasing the memory of a bitter, controversial loss at LSU three
"We were hurt. It really hurt our hearts" when Arkansas lost
to LSU 66-63 in overtime Wednesday night after officials gave the
Razorbacks 2 points for a shot they believed was a 3, Arkansas
coach Stan Heath said.
Against a smaller Auburn team, Arkansas was able to work the
ball inside, force 18 turnovers on defense and leave no doubt that
these Tigers would force an extra period.
"They don't have a lot of depth and we thought we could wear
them down," Heath said.
The Razorbacks (14-5, 2-4 SEC) adjusted their defense after
Auburn made five of its first seven 3-point shots in taking an
18-12 lead. The Tigers were 2-of-9 on 3-point tries the rest of the
half as Arkansas built a 45-33 lead.
"We were surprised a couple times by the range their guys
had," said Heath, who called a time out to reset his defense after
Ian Young hit the second of his back-to-back 3-pointers. "There
was a stretch there at the beginning of the game where they were
hitting their 3s. I was worried it could get us down a bit."
Arkansas scored its most points ever in an SEC game under Heath,
who is in his third year at the school. Arkansas also broke a
four-game losing streak. Auburn has lost four in a row.
The 36-point victory was Arkansas' second-largest ever in
Southeastern Conference play, behind a 57-point victory over
Mississippi State (115-58) in 1993.
In addition to suffering from a change in Arkansas' defense,
Auburn (9-8, 0-4) also suffered from its own poor ball-handling. A
Young 3-pointer with 7:49 left before halftime gave Auburn a 28-26
lead, but the Tigers turned the ball over six times in the next
Famutimi's 21-footer put Arkansas up 29-28 with 7½ left and a
22-footer two minutes later made it 34-31. Ronnie Brewer re-entered
the game for Famutimi with just under four minutes left and scored
six points to build Arkansas' lead.
Auburn was scoreless for the last 3:47 of the first half and the
first 2:15 of the second half -- a period in which Arkansas scored
15 points. Famutimi's steal and dunk with 18:20 left made it 51-33
and Arkansas was never threatened again.
"In the first 17 minutes of the game we were making shots and
staying in the game. We thought we had them in a tough situation
because of what happened at LSU," Auburn coach Jeff Lebo said.
But, Lebo said, "We wear down. It's hard for us to sustain
anything. They kept pounding it in there."
And guard Nathan Watson added, "We played good for a half but
it just went haywire once we came back out for the second half."
Arkansas has 27 points off the bench to 7 for Auburn.
The game was Arkansas' first since a controversial overtime loss
at LSU Wednesday night. Game officials disagreed Wednesday night on
whether Michael Jones made a 2-pointer or a 3-pointer with 1.8
seconds left in regulation -- with the difference being a one-point
Arkansas victory or overtime.
LSU won in overtime, and SEC officials said Wednesday there was
no conclusive evidence that Jones really had hit a 3, as one
official had claimed.
Brewer said the team wanted to put the LSU loss behind it.
"We had to get up for Auburn and play well. It's a long season.
We've got a lot of games ahead of us."
There was little doubt Arkansas would win once it addressed a
series of Auburn 3-point shots, many of them wide open. With the
game tied at 12, Moses Edun stole the ball off a Dontell Jefferson
pass and fed ahead to Young, who drained a 21-footer with 14:15
left. Young made an unchallenged 20-footer on Auburn's next
possession, prompting an Arkansas time-out to address failed
The Razorbacks responded with a 12-5 run to regain the lead.