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. Murphy was the 2017 Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year.
THIS WEEK IN ARKANSAS ATHLETICS
The Arkansas baseball team crushed Centenary 18-2 at Baum Stadium. Andy Wilkins hit his 10th home run of the season and drove in four runs, while Bo Bigham and Matt Vinson had three hits apiece. Bigham and Zack Cox each scored three runs. Christian Kowalchuk (2-0) earned the victory with three scoreless innings in relief.
Arkansas has gone 0-5 in games played on March 30 since that victory.
Texas A&M hired away UA women's basketball Coach Gary Blair after Blair had built the Razorbacks into an SEC contender.
Blair, who led Arkansas to its only Final Four in 1998, compiled a 198-120 record in 10 seasons with the Razorbacks. He had a 408-163 record in 18 years as a head coach when he took over in College Station, Texas.
Blair, a member of seven halls of fame, would go on to lead the Aggies to the 2011 NCAA championship with a 33-5 record. With a record of 813-330 (.711), he ranks 12th in all-time Division I coaching wins.
The Razorbacks replaced him with Susie Gardner, who went 64-54 with no NCAA Tournament appearances in four years. The hiring of Gardner started a streak of 16 seasons with only two NCAA Tournament bids for the Razorbacks, though Coach Mike Neighbors squad this season was considered a cinch to make the field.
Katie Warrick hit a walk-off RBI double in the seventh inning to give the No. 13 Razorbacks softball team a 3-2 win over Kentucky in the rubber match of a three-game set at Bogle Park.
Warrick's double scored pinch runner Carley Haizlip with the game-winning run after Danielle Gibson reached base on a Kentucky error. Autumn Storms (11-2) threw a complete game nine-hitter, and Gibson hit her 10th home run for the Razorbacks (25-11).
The No. 13 Arkansas baseball team scored three runs in the first inning and made them stand up in a 3-1 win over No. 15 Mississippi State in the rubber match of a three-game set at Baum Stadium.
Randall Fant (2-0) allowed 4 hits and 1 earned run while striking out 6 in his 6 innings. Jalen Beeks gave up one hit in two scoreless innings, and Colby Suggs threw a hitless ninth to post his third save.
Duke downed the Razorbacks 97-83 in the Final Four at McNichols Arena in Denver.
Todd Day led Arkansas with 27 points and 7 rebounds, and Lee Mayberry had a team-high 6 assists.
Duke fell 103-73 to UNLV in the NCAA championship game two days later.
The Razorbacks softball team walked a school-record 14 batters in an 11-3 loss at No. 11 Texas A&M.
Shelby Hiers led the Razorbacks with two hits, including a home run, while Claire Clark also homered. Ashley Diaz provided the other RBI.
Football Coach Bobby Petrino is involved in a motorcycle wreck with his mistress, former Arkansas volleyball player Jessica Dorrell, on Arkansas 16 east of Fayetteville.
Petrino did not inform Athletic Director Jeff Long of Dorrell's presence in the accident or their relationship, and an investigation revealed that Petrino had given Dorrell -- who had been hired in the position of director of on-campus recruiting -- $20,000 to help purchase a car.
Petrino appeared with a neck brace and abrasions on his face in a news conference two days later.
Todd Abbott fired a no-hitter in a 6-0 Arkansas win vs. Vanderbilt at Hawkins Field in Nashville, Tenn.
Abbott's gem would stand as the SEC's last no-hitter in a conference game for 22 years, until Texas A&M's Kyle Simonds no-hit the Commodores in a 3-0 win on May 7, 2016.
Greenwood native and University of Arkansas graduate Mike Neighbors "comes home" when he is named as the ninth head coach of the Razorbacks' women's basketball team. Neighbors -- who frequently called Arkansas his "dream job" -- had led the Washington Huskies to the women's NCAA Final Four in 2016.
"Everything I needed to know, I learned right here in Fayetteville, Arkansas," Neighbors wrote in a letter posted on the UA's website on the day of his hiring.
Neighbors, a high school coach at Bentonville and Cabot, served as UA's director of operations (1999) and as a Razorback assistant coach (2006) before returning as head coach.
Brian Cook and Brian Dennison throw a combined no-hitter in the Razorbacks' 10-0 victory over Evangel at Baum Stadium.
Tim Deitz fired a no-hitter in the Razorbacks' 3-0 win over Texas A&M in the first game of a doubleheader in College Station, Texas.
Arkansas earned a three-game sweep with a 10-9 victory in the nightcap.
The No. 12 Arkansas gymnastics team upsets No. 1 Florida 196.55 to 196.425 to win the NCAA Denver Regional.
Katherine Grable scored 39.475 to place second in the all-around, and she tied for the vault title with a 9.9 and was fourth on the beam (9.85). Jaime Pisani won the floor exercise (9.95), placed third in the all-around (39.375) and was fourth on vault (9.875). Mariah Howdeshell came in third on the bars (9.9).
Dana Altman, who had accepted the head coaching reins for the men's basketball team a day earlier, announced he had changed his mind and would return to Creighton, where he had coached for 13 seasons.
UA Chancellor John White announced Altman's departure in a hastily called news conference outside Walton Arena.
Altman apologized to Arkansas fans "with deep regret," but said it was in his family's best interests to return to Creighton.
Arkansas Athletic Director Frank Broyles made a hasty return from Augusta, Ga., where he was scheduled to attend The Masters to continue working on a replacement for the fired Stan Heath.
Collin Kuhn cranked a two-out, walk-off grand slam to lead Arkansas to a 17-16 win over Kentucky on Easter Sunday at Baum Stadium.
The teams combined for 33 runs and 33 hits in one of the highest-scoring games in SEC history as the Razorbacks won the rubber match.
Kentucky took a 16-13 lead with seven runs in the eighth inning, but the Razorbacks got the last laugh. Kuhn's home run scored Jarrod McKinney, James McCann and pinch-runner Kyle Atkins, who was in for Andy Wilkins.
Kuhn led the Hogs with four hits, while Bo Bigham and Travis Sample had three hits each. Kentucky's Andy Burns hit two home runs. Future big-leaguer Mike Bolsinger (4-1) earned the win with 11/3 innings of hitless relief.
The No. 10 Arkansas Razorbacks gymnastics team won the NCAA Fayetteville Regional by a tenth of a point over No. 4 Stanford at Barnhill Arena to capture their first regional championship in the program's eighth season under co-coaches Mark and Rene Cook. Arkansas qualified for its third NCAA gymnastics championship.
The Razorbacks claimed their first and only NCAA men's basketball championship under Coach Nolan Richardson with a 76-72 victory over Duke at the Final Four at Charlotte Coliseum in Charlotte, N.C.
Scotty Thurman hit a critical three-point shot with 51 seconds remaining to break a 70-70 tie as Arkansas rallied from a 10-point second-half deficit.
Corliss Williamson scored a game-high 23 points, while Thurman and Corey Beck added 15 points each for Arkansas, and Beck had 10 rebounds and 4 assists. Dwight Stewart contributed 9 rebounds, 6 points, 4 steals and 4 assists, including the pass that led to Thurman's big three-pointer.
Coach Dave Van Horn picked up his 500th win with the Razorbacks in a 6-4 win at Auburn's Plainsman Park.
The Razorbacks surged from behind, erasing a 3-2 deficit with two runs in the eighth and ninth innings, earning a win for Jackson Lowery (3-0). Zach Jackson picked up his third save by striking our Melvin Gray with two runners in scoring position in the bottom of the ninth.
Carson Shaddy and Joe Serrano drove in runs with a double and a single in the eighth inning. Tucker Pennell delivered a two-run single in the ninth, driving in Bobby Wernes and Brett McAfee.
Arkansas won the series, winning Game 1 by a 10-7 score before the Tigers took Game 2 by a 3-2 margin.
Sports on 03/30/2020
Have a comment on this story? Join the discussion or start a new one on the Forums.