Tom Murphy is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of Louisiana Tech University, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and voter for the Heisman Trophy and AP Top 25 football poll.
In the lane:
UA gets more out of Wade
NWA Media/ANTHONY REYES -- Arkansas junior Mardracus Wade (1) gets tied up with Auburn Brian Greene Jr. (24) in the first half Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 in Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE Mardracus Wade was left out of the starting lineup for the second consecutive game, but the junior wound up playing 35 minutes Wednesday in Arkansas’ 88-80 double-overtime victory against Auburn.
Wade hit 3 of 6 shots and finished with 12 points and three steals before fouling out late in the second overtime. He became the first Razorback to score at least 10 points other than Marshawn Powell and BJ Young since freshman Anthlon Bell put up 12 in an 86-51 victory over Delaware State on Jan. 5.
“It’s a relief,” Wade said.
“It had been a burden on my back. Tonight I just wanted to be focused, go out and play kind of freely.”
Marshawn Powell scored 28 points and BJ Young 22 to lead Arkansas
Auburn's Allen Payne hit a 3-pointer with 5.4 seconds remaining in regulation to send the game to OT
The Razorbacks are now 11-5 overall, 2-1 in the SEC; Auburn is 8-8, 2-1
Wade went two consecutive games without a rebound and had been tentative to shoot in recent games, but he shook off both of those issues against the Tigers. Wade checked in at the 13:18 mark, grabbed a defensive rebound at 12:45, then had a steal on an Auburn inbound pass and a layup at 12:30.
“It shows me he’s starting to find his rhythm,” Arkansasforward Marshawn Powell said of Wade’s showing. “The quicker he finds his rhythm, the better we’re going to be.”
Arkansas assistant coach T.J. Cleveland encouraged Wade during Wednesday’s shoot-around to not hesitate to take open shots.
“He said, ‘I don’t care if you shoot five in a row, just let it fly,’ ” Wade said.
Rare double OT
Arkansas played its first double-overtime game in nearly 26 years in its 88-80 victory over Auburn. The Razorbacks’ last double-overtime game came in a 100-97 victory at Texas A&M on Feb. 24, 1987.
Auburn made 7 of 17 free-throw attempts (41.2 percent), below its previous low of 53.8 percent shooting (7 of 13) in a 50-49 loss at Boston College.
Arkansas was 20 of 33 (60.6 percent), but Mardracus Wade missed both ends of a two-shot opportunity with the Hogs ahead 67-64 with 25.9 seconds remaining. Wade also missed the back end of a two-shot foul after tying the game 75-75 with 35 seconds left in the first overtime. The Hogs went just 6 of 10 from the free-throw line in the second overtime.
High post Powell
Arkansas’ Marshawn Powell took advantage of theAuburn zone in the second half with a series of jumpers from the high-post area and finished 11 of 20 from the field with a game-high 28 points.
“Powell did a great job making big shots,” Auburn guard Frankie Sullivan said.
“Usually guys don’t hit shots like he did. He’s a great player. He’s going to be a great player in this league, and after he’s through being an Arkansas Razorback, I think he’s going to be a great pro.”
Powell’s three-pointer from the right corner with 2:42 remaining gave Arkansas a 66-64 lead, its first since it led 50-48 at the 13:02 mark.
Powell, a fourth-year junior, moved to 31st on Arkansas’ all-time scoring list, with 1,063 career points. He passed Jerry Carlton (1,042 points) and Eric Ferguson (1,047), with Michael Washington (1,065) and Tommy Boyer (1,067) up next.
Hot and cold
Auburn built a 14-8 lead by making 6 of 11 shots, including back-to-back three-pointers by Shaq Johnson, while the Razorbacks opened 4 of 11.
Arkansas outscored Auburn 17-0 over 5:44 as the Hogs made 6 of 8 from the field. That run started with Fred Gulley’s three-pointer, ended with Kikko Haydar’s three and featured six points from BJ Young, including a wide-open three-pointer.
Arkansas had a nearly-four-minute scoring drought later that included six missed shots and two turnovers, and the Tigers outscored the Hogs 8-0 to pull within 28-25.
The Arkansas student section, which is positioned beside the Hog Wild Band, came prepared for serious Rob Chubb heckling.
The students greeted the Auburn forward during warmups by holding up dozens of photocopies of the booking photo from his arrest for public intoxication.
Chubb’s response: He gave an enthusiastic two-handed wave.
Much of the Bud Walton Arena crowd became upset with Chubb when his aggressive swat on an offensive rebound in the second overtime made contact with Marshawn Powell’s face.
The students also gave Chubb a good razzing when he hacked BJ Young with 1:11 remaining to foul out.
Auburn cut a 37-27 Arkansas lead to 39-36 early in the second half on Frankie Sullivan’s five-point possession and consecutive buckets by Rob Chubb. The teams were never separated by more than four points during the next 9:20. Then, Auburn outscored Arkansas 4-0, a run punctuated by Chubb’s dunk on a fast break for a 61-55 lead at the 8:21 mark.
Sports, Pages 20 on 01/17/2013