Bob Holt is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Missouri, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and voter for the Heisman Trophy, Biletnikoff Award and AP Top 25 basketball poll. Holt was awarded Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year in 2000 and 2015.
In the lane:
Foul line fair game for Tigers
Arkansas guard Michael Qualls, bottom, collides with Missouri forward Tony Criswell during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Chris Lee)
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Missouri had a streak of 40 consecutive made free throws spanning parts of its home-and-home sweep Arkansas.
The Tigers hit their first 23 free throws in Thursday night’s 86-85 victory at Mizzou Arena after hitting their final 17 when they beat the Razorbacks 75-71 on Jan.
28 in Walton Arena.
Missouri finished 34 of 38 on free throws on Thursday night.
“Obviously, we had the right guys going to the line,” Tigers Coach Frank Haith said. “Those guys can all shoot it pretty good.”
Missouri junior guards Jabari Brown and Jordan Clarkson and senior guard Earnest Ross combined to hit 30 of 34 free throws.
Brown was 14 of 15, Clarkson 11 of 13 and Ross 5 of 6.
“That’s a lot of free throws, I know that’s what that is,” Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson said. “A lot of free throws.
“You’ve got to give them credit. They made them.”
Brown said he wasn’t aware the Tigers had made 40 in a row against the Razorbacks.
“We’ve got to be aggressive against a team like that,” Brown said. “They play real scrappy and they foul a lot, so we knew we had to be strong with the ball.”
Brown missed a free throw with 14:03 left to end the Tigers’ streak, which had started with 31 seconds left in the first half of the teams’ first meeting when Ryan Rosburg hit the second of two free throws.
“We were putting them on the line and giving them easy points,” Arkansas freshman forward Bobby Portis said.
Junior forward Alandise Harris said the Razorbacks needed to do a better job of stopping dribble penetration, but he wasn’t surprised Brown, Clarkson and Ross shot free throws so well.
“They’re good players,” Harris said. “All three of them.”
Harris gets 16 in 18
Arkansas 6-6 forward Alandise Harris scored 16 points in 18 minutes off the bench, including eight in a row during a two-minute stretch of the second half.
It was the most points for Harris since he scored 17 against Gonzaga in the Maui Invitational on Nov. 27. He came into Thursday night’s game averaging 6.4 points in SEC play.
“It wasn’t really a struggle,” Harris said. “I just wasn’t playing. That’s all that is.
“The reason? I don’t know. I just wasn’t playing.”
Coach Mike Anderson suspended Harris, along with Michael Qualls, for the Razorbacks’ 88-74 loss at LSU for conduct detrimental to the team, but he praised Harris’ efforts at Missouri.
Harris hit 6 of 11 shots and 4 of 5 free throws.
“I felt he had a breakout game,” Anderson said. “I didn’t think they had an answer for him. Whether they were in a zone or man, he got in the middle, and our guys did a good job of moving the basketball. He’s capable of scoring.”
Big crowd for return
Missouri had a season high announced crowd of 12,362 for the return of Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson, who led the Tigers to a 111-57 record in five seasons before taking the Razorbacks’ job in March of 2011.
Anderson is now 79-13 at Mizzou Arena - 79-11 with the Tigers and 0-2 with the Razorbacks.
Blue in gray
The Razorbacks wore anthracite uniforms - a grayish color -for the second consecutive game, but didn’t have the same results as in their 77-75 victory at Vanderbilt last Saturday.
Make it 10
Arkansas used its 10th different starting lineup of the season Thursday night when Mardracus Wade replaced Kikko Haydar.
It was Wade’s second start of the season. His last start came against California on Nov. 25 in the Maui Invitational.
Wade played a season high 28 minutes and had eight points and three steals.
“Defensively, I think he’s in tune to what’s taking place now,” Razorbacks Coach Mike Anderson said.
“He’s understanding what his role is on this basketball team, and we need his defensive presence and we need that experience.
“He’s an experienced guy. This is his third year with me. He’s playing better.”
Missouri has started the same lineup - guards Jabari Brown, Jordan Clarkson and Earnest Ross and forwards Johnathan Williams and Ryan Rosburg - in every game.
MU moves ahead
Missouri improved to 21-20 against Arkansas, including 3-1 in SEC games since the Tigers joined the conference last season.
The Tigers have won three consecutive games against the Razorbacks for the first time since Missouri won six in a row between the 1966-1967 and 1971-1972 seasons.
Arkansas won eight in a row between 1992-1993 and 2005-2006 seasons.
Sports, Pages 22 on 02/14/2014