The biggest players, stats and quotes from Arkansas' 62-60 win over Georgia on Thursday at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville.
Anthlon Bell came off the bench to score a game-high 17 points Thursday, going 6 of 10 from the field and 5 of 8 from three-point range.
2 Game VIPs
Arkansas sophomore guard B.J. Young Young didn’t have his best performance, but when the game was on the line, he was money – again. For the second game in a row, Young came up with the winning basket. This time, he dribbled around to run down more than 20 seconds off the clock, took advantage of a screen from Coty Clarke and somehow hit a scoop shot down low underneath Georgia big man Neanja Djurisic with 5.3 seconds left. That gave the Hogs a 62-60 lead. Young ended up with eight points – his third-lowest point production of the season – along with one rebound and two assists. But he was certainly huge when it mattered most.
Arkansas freshman guard Anthlon Bell With Georgia running a zone, Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson turned to his young sharpshooter with less than five minutes off the clock. Bell hadn’t even played in two of the past three games, and he totaled a combined 11 minutes in the previous six games. Add on to that the fact that he hadn’t scored a point in almost a month, and he was certainly a long shot to be the game’s leading scorer. But that’s what he was, going 5 of 8 from three-point range and finishing with 17 points.
39 Personal fouls called in the game, including 23 on Arkansas, and also the number of combined free-throw attempts in the game.
18.2 Georgia’s shooting percentage (4 of 22) from the floor in the first half. That resulted in a 28-18 halftime deficit.
9:55 Minutes and seconds that Razorbacks junior forward Marshawn Powell had to sit in the second half after picking up his fourth foul. After returning with 5:18 left, he scored seven points, including a big three-pointer that tied the game at 56-all with 1:56 left, and a shot inside that gave the Hogs a 60-58 lead with 46.5 seconds remaining.
0 Points in the first half for the SEC’s leading scorer, Georgia sophomore guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. He scored 15 in the second half, including two three-pointers and a 5-for-6 effort from the free-throw line.
Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson, repeating words from his old boss, Nolan Richardson: “Well it wasn’t how we had planned it to happen. That old coach used to tell me, ‘A raggedy ride is better than a smooth walk.’ We didn’t play our best, but we found a way to win.”
Anderson on Young’s game-winning shot: “Last set we just put it in B.J.’s hands, and he made a play.”
Anderson on Bell’s performance: “Guys say they’re feeling it? I’ve been feeling him lately. It’s just feeling him from the standpoint to put him out there and make him miss. We’ve got to have somebody knock some shots down. … He’s one of those guys, he can get on a run. He can miss three in a row, but he can come back and make four or five in a row. And I think we saw that on display, and it was much needed.”
Georgia Coach Mark Fox: “I don’t think our team played with much courage in the first half, and I don’t think we played very well. Arkansas was certainly to credit for a lot of that.”
Fox on Bell’s performance: “He shot the ball in. He really did. Give that kid credit. He made some big shots. Really, that was the difference in the game. His shooting was critical, especially in the first half there.”
Young on his game-winning shot: “Same play. Same setup as Mizzou game. A set we like to call at the end of the game. And then I capitalized on it.”
Young on Bell’s 17 points: “It really didn’t’ surprise me. I know Anthlon has been a scorer throughout his life. He’s always been a big scorer in high school. He had some big scoring games earlier this year. He’s just been waiting on his opportunity to come, and he capitalized on it. He’s always playing good in practice and looking good and cheering everybody up, and waiting on his time to come. And it came tonight, and he took advantage of it.”
The Bottom Line
Arkansas ended up playing at Georgia’s pace and with plenty of adversity, and yet the Razorbacks found a way to win a very big game at the end.
And as Anderson noted, that’s a good sign.
With Young far from his best and Powell battling foul trouble – and with the officials frustrating both head coaches and players on both teams – the Hogs (17-9, 8-5 SEC) came through with a lot on the line.
While it wasn’t pretty, the Razorbacks earned this one, and they’re showing how much they’ve matured this season.
Young will get praise for that amazing scoop shot to win it, but Powell deserves quite a bit, too for his play late in the game. There was that one missed free throw when he was trying for an and-one with 46.5 seconds left. But other than that, Powell was clutch in the final 3:35 of the game.
Young’s body language and tone of voice in the postgame press conference indicated he wasn’t very happy with either himself or the team. He felt like the Hogs should have put away the Bulldogs, but instead let them climb back into the game. And he felt like he could've done more.
But give Georgia (12-14, 6-7) some credit as well. After an awful first 20 minutes, the Bulldogs scrapped in the second half, and they, too, showed some maturity. They were one shot away from winning this one, and senior guard Vincent Williams tried to make a play inside at the final buzzer. The shot was heavily contested and wasn’t close, though, and the Hogs held on.
For the box score, click HERE.
The Next One
Arkansas has a quick turnaround with Saturday’s 6 p.m. Central game at No. 5 Florida (21-4, 11-2). The Hogs upset the Gators – then ranked No. 2 – on Feb. 5, winning 80-69 in Fayetteville. Billy Donovan’s squad won their next three before losing 63-60 to Missouri on Tuesday. This one will be televised by ESPNU.
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