The biggest players, stats and quotes from Arkansas’ 88-80, double-overtime win over Auburn on Wednesday night at Bud Walton Arena.
B.J. Young had 22 points Wednesday, his 40th career double-digit scoring effort.
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Sophomore guard B.J. Young
Young had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation, but he lost the handle on the ball as time expired once he reached the lane. He had another chance at the end of the overtime, but he drove into the middle of a collapsing zone and got stuffed. Young made up for those mistakes in the second overtime, hitting a clutching three-pointer with 26.7 seconds left – and two on the shot clock – for an 84-78 lead. He finished with 22 points on 8-of-16 shooting, and added six rebounds and five assists.
Junior forward Marshawn Powell
Powell was big in the second overtime, too, hitting a 15-footer right off the bat, and finishing that period with three rebounds, three points and a steal. He finished the night with 28 points and 11 rebounds – both game-highs.
9-20, 5-11 Auburn senior guard Frankie Sullivan’s shooting performance from the field and from three-point range. Sullivan finished with a team-high 26 points and also added nine rebounds in a game-high 48 minutes.
19 Turnovers committed by Auburn, leading to 20 points for the Hogs.
8 Turnovers committed by Arkansas, leading to nine points for the Tigers.
1987 The last time Arkansas played in a double-overtime game. The Razorbacks beat Texas A&M on the road 100-97 on Feb. 24, 1987.
Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson: “Hard-fought win for our Razorbacks. I mean, we had to fight for typically you say 40 minutes, but it took 50 minutes tonight. My hat’s off to Tony Barbee and his team. I tell you what, they would not go away. And that’s a sign of a team that’s really playing some good basketball, and maturity.”
Anderson on Young’s performance: “I thought with the shot that went up with five seconds, the defense collapsed, and he’ll learn that you’ve got to trust your teammates. Sometimes a lot of guys, the very good basketball players they’re used to making plays for themselves. When you get to the collegiate level, everybody does scouting. And they’re going to play you. Now you’ve got to trust the other guys. But as I told him at that point in time, I said you’ll make up for it. You’ll be OK. And I think that’s the confidence that I have in him, and sure enough, he did.”
Anderson on junior guard Mardracus Wade, who came off the bench for the second time this season after starting the first 14 games of this season – and 46 straight overall: “He’s a guy that’s been around here, he’s a third-year junior. With that being said, you expect some accountability when guys get out there and play. I think he played without thinking. Defensively, got after it and took shots as they came. I thought he did a good job of making some big plays for us going down the stretch. He played with his heart, and I thought our team played with their hearts.”
Wade on his performance (12 points, 3 steals, 0 turnovers in 35 minutes): “Aw man, It’s a relief. A little burden on my back. Today I just wanted to be focused, try to go out there and play kind of freely. Coach T.J. (Cleveland) talked to me today after the shoot-around. He just said whatever happens, whenever you get out there, he said just go out there and play.”
Wade on coming off the bench for the second straight game: “I knew that my name was going to get called at some point in this game. I just wanted to have my head on right, stay positive. When I got out there, the first thing that was on my mind was to get some stops. The first thing come out and play defense. That’s what the second unit’s for. We’ve got to come in and bring the intensity. I just added to what they bring to the table.”
Powell: “Auburn’s very, very tough. They play defense and they make sure they hit you every time. I ‘m just glad we pulled it out.”
Powell on playing Saturday at Ole Miss against a red-hot Rebels team: “We’ve just got to bring it. Before we even leave here everybody’s got to get on the bus with their minds made that we’re not going to come and show what we showed at Texas A&M. We’re going to play until it says 0:00.”
The bottom line
Sure, the Razorbacks made some crucial mistakes that could have cost them a home conference win, but they kept battling against a gritty Auburn team that had won six of its past eight.
Make no mistake, this was a very important victory for the Hogs with three of their next four on the road – where they almost always struggle.
Young’s decisions to dribble into the middle of a collapsing zone, with three defenders on him, caused some head-scratching, but he certainly came through in the clutch.
Wade delivered an immediate spark off the bench with his hustle, and he ended up scoring in double figures for the first time since the Northwestern State game on Dec. 29. The Hogs had to be happy to see that after Wade was upset about not starting and not playing in the second half of Saturday’s Vanderbilt game.
Powell was obviously spent afterward. He left everything on the court, and his veteran presence in overtime really paid dividends.
Sullivan did his best to carry Auburn, scoring 23 of his 26 points after halftime. But the Tigers’ 7-of-17 shooting at the free-throw line, combined with 19 turnovers, made it tough on a night when they shot 50 percent from the floor.
The next one
Arkansas (11-5, 2-1 SEC) plays at Ole Miss (14-2, 3-0) on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. Central in another SEC Network game.
The Rebels have won six straight since an 87-85 overtime loss to Indiana State on Dec. 22. They’re coming off Tuesday’s 89-79 overtime win at Vanderbilt