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:
Clarke rises up for Hogs
Arkansas's Coty Clarke looks to pass under pressure from LSU's Jordan Mickey during the game between Arkansas and LSU on Saturday February 15, 2014 in Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE - Coty Clarke didn’t score in the first half, but he more than made up for it in the second half of Arkansas’ 81-70 victory over LSU on Saturday.
Clarke made 3 of 4 three-pointers, contributed 9 rebounds and 4 assists to go along with tying his season high of 16 points. Almost all of his statistics were collected in the second half after he went out early in the game with two fouls.
“I just played aggressive, my teammates found me and I was able to make plays,” said Clarke, who played 18 of his 21 minutes in the second half.
“That was big,” Arkansas guard Ky Madden said of Clarke’s second-half production.
“I wish he could play a whole game,” Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson said.
“Seems like he only plays a half.
“He’s a tough matchup.
He’s been shooting the ball well. I saw him play super athletic, whether it was blocking shots, getting rebounds, getting to the foul line.”
Clarke scored 10 of Arkansas’ first 15 points in the second half, then hit a three-pointer at the top of the key to put the Razorbacks ahead 63-59 as part of their closing 27-13 stretch.
“He was one of those guys who was able to step out there and knock down threes against us,” LSU Coach Johnny Jones said.
“He certainly made a huge impact in 21 minutes with no turnovers and four assists.”
Play of the day
Ky Madden and Bobby Portis combined for a critical goal late in the game that should make Arkansas highlight reels for years to come.
Portis tipped the ball away from LSU’s Tim Quarterman at the LSU end and the Hogs’ Mardracus Wade came up with the ball.
Wade fired a long outlet pass to Madden, who scampered to catch the ball and, without dribbling, fired a behind-theback lob pass for Portis, who collected the ball in midair and converted the shot off the glass for a 75-66 Arkansas lead at the 3:19 mark.
“I just threw it and I trusted him to go get it,” said Madden, who added that the pair had never practiced a play like that.
“When he threw it I was kind of shocked,” said Portis, who skied over Quarterman for the score.
11 and 2
Michael Qualls, making his first start since Jan. 18, scored 11 of Arkansas’ first 18 points and was outscoring LSU 11-7 on his own at that point.
“Mike came in with great energy and focus,” Mike Anderson said. “He’s an energy guy.
Qualls scored two points the rest of the way - on 2 of 7 free-throw shooting.
Words of advice
As Arkansas’ players came out of their locker room and went to the court for the second half, they crossed paths with the former Razorbacks who had been honored during a halftime ceremony.
“You should have heard the former players,” Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson said.
“I mean, they were cheering them on - ‘Hey guys, it’s second-half time!’
“They were talking like a coach. I thought that was kind of neat.”
Kingsley sits out
Arkansas 6-10 freshman center Moses Kingsley dressed out, but didn’t play because of a hip injury he suffered in the second half of Thursday night’s game at Missouri.
Kingsley had 3 points, 4 rebounds and 3 blocked shots in 19 minutes in the Razorbacks’ 88-74 loss at LSU two weeks ago.
“We missed his presence … from a standpoint of the physicality,” Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson said. “Maybe they don’t get those (16) offensive rebounds. He can block shots. He can score.
He’s a good passer.”
Anderson said Kingsley will continue to get treatment and will be “a dayto-day evaluation.”
Arkansas’ next game is Wednesday night against South Carolina.
Johnny be good
LSU 6-9 junior Johnny O’Bryant III combined for 43 points and 25 rebounds in two games against Arkansas this season. He had 23 points and nine rebounds in the Tigers’ 88-74 victory on Feb. 1 and 20 points and 16 rebounds Saturday.
Sports, Pages 24 on 02/16/2014