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:
Drawing whistles at Walton
Kentucky center Dakari Johnson, center, is hit under the basket by Arkansas forward Coty Clarke, left, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, in Fayetteville, Ark. (AP Photo/Gareth Patterson)
Kentucky attempted more free throws in the first half (22) than eight of Arkansas’ first 15 opponents did for the full game, and finished 26 of 40 from the line for 65 percent.
The Razorbacks was a frequent visitor to the line, as well, making 29 of 41 free throws (70.7 percent).
Arkansas became the first Kentucky opponent to shoot more free throws than the Wildcats.
Arkansas made 7 of 8 free throws in overtime, including two each by Bobby Portis and Michael Qualls in the final minute.
The Wildcats came in with 500 free-throw attempts to rank second nationally at 33.3 attempts per game.
Kentucky committed 17 turnovers, 11 more than Arkansas, including two in overtime.
The Wildcats’ Jarrod Polson lost a tie ball against Alandise Harris on the floor under the Arkansas basket with 2:42 remaining.
A few moments later, with Kentucky inbounding just past midcourt on its own end, Andrew Harrison’s momentum took him over half court while catching the inbound pass with Mardracus Wade in tight coverage.
“A side out-of-bounds play?” Kentucky Coach John Calipari asked. “I don’t know if he got pushed to go across half court or not, but why would you throw it there ?”
Arkansas big man Alandise Harris made one of the key plays, his driving basket with 9.5 seconds in regulation that drew the fifth foul from Kentucky 7-footer Willie Cauley-Stein.
Harris, who missed several late scoring opportunities during the Hogs’ 84-82 overtime loss to Florida on Saturday, finished with 12 points and was 6 of 9 from the line.
Hold on, wait
There was a lengthy play stoppage with 5:02 to play in the first half, as four sets of free throws were shot and a technical foul was called.
The sequence began with Kentucky’s Marcus Lee at the free-throw line,shooting the second of a 1-and-1 opportunity. The officials called a foul on Julius Randle on the miss, sending Arkansas’ Alandise Harris to the line. As Harris made his first free throws, the Razorbacks’ Jacorey Williams was called for a foul while wrestling for position with Lee, and Lee’s response drew a technical foul on him.
Harris made his second free throw, then, after a long huddle by the referees, Lee missed two free throws and Williams made two.
Arkansas kept possession and Mardracus Wade made a three-pointer to give Arkansas a 37-28 lead to cap a 7-0 run at the 4:33 mark.
Arkansas’ victory gave the Razorbacks a 7-6 record in home games against Kentucky, making Arkansas the only SEC program with a winning home mark against the Wildcats.
The Wildcats’ record at the other SEC venues: 28-23 at Alabama, 29-13 at Auburn, 33-23 at Florida, 40-17 at Georgia, 29-16 at LSU, 32-12 at Mississippi State, 26-10 at Ole Miss, 18-6 at South Carolina, 53-48 at Tennessee, 1-0 at Texas A&M, and 55-27 at Vanderbilt.
Senior guard Fred Gulley, who came in averaging 3.8 points per game, gave the Razorbacks a scoring lift, particularly during a short stretch in the first half.
Gulley, from Fayetteville, made a shot in the lane, a jumper from the right elbow and a three-pointer in a two minute span to turn a 23-21 Kentucky lead into a 28-25 Arkansas advantage. Gulley finished with nine points, one below his season high of 10 against Minnesota.
Michael Qualls, the Razorbacks’ most athletic dunker, appeared to have another one in his sights with about nine minutes remaining and the Razorbacks ahead 65-64. But Kentucky’s 6-9 Julius Randle rose up and blocked the dunk try right at the rim.
Arkansas freshman Bobby Portis had his third double double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
There were 18 ties and 10 lead changes in the first half.
Mardracus Wade did not play against Florida, but the senior guard was the first off the bench on Tuesday, entering for Fred Gulley at the 15:44 mark.
Sports, Pages 22 on 01/15/2014