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.
Double steal a first for Clarke
Arkansas guard Coty Clarke (4) dunks the ball during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Auburn on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, in Fayetteville, Ark.. Arkansas defeated Auburn 86-67. (AP Photo/Gareth Patterson)
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas forward Coty Clarke said his consecutive steals in about 25 seconds in the Razorbacks’ 86-67 victory over Auburn on Saturday was a first for him.
“Never, never,” Clarke said Sunday when asked if he’d made a similar play. “Not like that in that sequence.”
Arkansas led 22-14 with less than six minutes left before halftime when Clarke stole the ball and made a behind-the-back pass to Anthlon Bell before going out of bounds to it for the Razorbacks.
Clarke’s momentum carried him over the scorer’s table and into the crowd. He said he also had to dodge a trash can full of sodas that was knocked over.
“I didn’t want to get it all on my jersey and shoes,” he said. “So I had to completely turn the opposite way and stand up and I ended up jumping over the Coke.”
Clarke ended up running around Auburn’s bench, after the Tigers rebounded a missed Arkansas shot. When Clarke got back onto the court, he ran up behind Tigers guard KT Harrell and knocked the ball away from him to teammate Ky Madden.
“I saw him dribbling, and there wasn’t anybody saying ‘Woof!’ or nothing,” Clarke said. “His coaches. His teammates. Nothing. They were just quiet.
“I just went and took it again and made that play.”
After Clarke’s second steal, Arkansas guard Fred Gulley was fouled and made two free throws to put the Razorbacks ahead 24-14.