LAS VEGAS – Arkansas blew an 11-point halftime lead and fell to No. 24 Wisconsin 77-70 in the consolation game of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational on Saturday.
Mike Anderson's Hogs have lost back-to-back games after a 3-0 start.
Junior forward Coty Clarke grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds for the Razorbacks (3-2). It was his second double-digit rebounding game of the season, which included seven on the offensive glass. Sophomore guard B.J. Young scored 18 points and picked up five boards and junior guard Mardracus Wade added13 points.
The Razorbacks took their first lead in the opening half after Madden made a layup to make the score 15-13 with 13:30 remaining. The Razorbacks made a statement at the 12:20 mark as Williams came up with a big steal to drive it to the basket for Arkansas. Just eight seconds later, Clarke took it away from the Badgers and Rickey Scott scored on a layup after an assist from Dequavious Wagner. The Razorbacks would take their largest lead of the game at that point, five.
With 9:38 remaining, the Hogs held the Badgers scoreless over a span of 4:22 and went on a 7-0 run to make the score 29-18. Arkansas kept up the pressure, going toe-toe with the Badgers as each scored 11 to close the half at 40-29.
The second half would be a different story for Arkansas. Wisconsin chipped away at the lead with consecutive three-point baskets by Ben Brust and Jared Berggren, pulling the Badgers back within five with not even two minutes gone in the second half.
Midway through the second half, Wisconsin rallied again to take a 55-53 lead with 8:12 to play. .Freshman forward Sam Dekker, who scored 12 of his game-high 19 points in the second half, led the charge.
The teams traded baskets for a while until Dekker struck again.
The freshman drove the paint for a layup and the foul, giving Wisconsin a 61-58 lead, one the Badgers did not squander. Wisconsin went 11 of 12 from the free-throw line down the stretch to hold off Arkansas.
The Razorbacks outrebounded the Badgers in the second half, 21-14 after being outrebounded 25-13 in the first.
The Hogs return to the court on Friday at Bud Walton Arena to face No. 6 Syracuse at 7:30 p.m. Central, a game that will be televised on ESPN.
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