Arkansas 81, Oklahoma 78: Back To Winning

USA TODAY Sports

The basketball team capped an exciting day for Razorback fans with a tight victory over the Sooners.

Marshawn Powell was awesome. 33 points and 4 threes is a career high. He may be the best in-game three point shooter on the team, which is not necessarily a great thing. Although, Mardracus Wade did hit a pair of threes in the second half, which will hopefully get him on track.

BJ Young scored 10 points, including the game winner with just seconds remaining. Wade also had 10 while Rashad Madden and Coty Clarke pitched in 8 points each.

One of the interesting things about this game is that the starters played more minutes than in most previous games. So far this season, Mike Anderson has made an effort to balance more minutes with the bench, but in this game, four players were on the court for at least 30 minutes. In the Syracuse game, Young was the only one to hit that number. That may be something to watch as we move forward. But it's safe to expect the bench to play more when Arkansas gets to the soft portion of the non conference schedule after Saturday's Michigan game.

It should be pointed out that Kikko Haydar's three point shot turned out to be the difference in the game. Just saying.

Here's the recap from UA Media Relations

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Junior Marshawn Powell scored a career high 33 points and sophomore BJ Young knocked down the game-winner to lead the University of Arkansas basketball team to an 81-78 win over Oklahoma on Tuesday night at Bud Walton Arena.

Powell had a banner night to go along with his 33 points; he grabbed a game-high six rebounds with five assists. The junior from Newport News, Va., went 11-of-17 from the floor, hit a career best four three-point baskets and hit 7-of-8 from the free throw line. His 33 points are the most by a Razorback since young tallied 31 against Florida last season.

"Powell had a career night," head coach Mike Anderson said. "His presence was very important and evident tonight. He is a versatile guy and he was in a zone."

Arkansas (4-3) was able to respond from a late Oklahoma rally when Young hit a layup with 15 seconds to play. Powell sank two free throws moments later after grabbing a rebound on a missed Oklahoma shot.

"Two good teams really competed tonight," Anderson said. "Our guys played more relaxed and in rhythm. It was good to see them get better and be rewarded with a win."

Young also had a standout day, distributing the ball amongst his teammates, as the sophomore tallied a career-high eight assists. Young and junior Mardracus Wade assisted the Razorbacks as they both finished the game in double-digits with 10 points each.

In the first half, the Razorbacks started out a little slow as they were down by four at the start of the game. However, the Hogs went on a 7-0 run, which started with a two-point jumper by sophomore Hunter Mickelson. Powell would extend the lead with two consecutive baskets, the first a three-pointer and next a layup, making the score 9-6. Arkansas grabbed their largest lead of the first at the 4:51 mark with a layup by Powell to extend the Razorbacks a nine-point lead at 31-22. However the Sooners would regroup and answer the Razorback charge chipping away at the lead. At the halftime buzzer the Razorbacks were clinging to a three-point lead, 41-38.

Powell led the Razorbacks in the first half going an impressive 3-of-3 from the three-point line. At the completion of the first half Powell had tallied 19 points, two boards and one assist. Young also recorded a notable six assists in just the first half, tying his career-high which he set against Texas Southern last season.

Arkansas started off the second half extending their lead as Powell went on a 4-0 run of his own with a layup and two free throws to make the score 45-38, extending the Razorback lead to seven. With 17:21 remaining in the second Wade sank a three-pointer only to come back 49 seconds later and drain a second-consecutive three, giving Arkansas an 11-point lead, which was their largest lead of the game, 51-40.

The Sooners however, would chip away at the Razorback lead and cut the game to one-point until sophomore Rashad Madden took matters into his own hands. With 4:42 left on the clock and the crowd on its feet, Madden would drain consecutive layups, giving Arkansas a five-point lead, 73-68.

The game would come down to the wire as the clock hit 1:24 remaining and Arkansas was holding on to just a three-point lead after a Sooner layup. The Hogs needed a score and it was Young who delivered it with a layup with 51 seconds remaining, giving Arkansas a five point cushion (77-72). Just seconds later a Sooner three-point basket hushed the roaring Razorback crowd as Oklahoma cut the game to two, 79-78. A missed jumper by Oklahoma and a defensive rebound by Powell sent the crowd to its feet as the Sooners were forced to play the foul game. Powell delivered in the clutch, knocking down both of his free throws to make it a three-point game with just two seconds remaining.

The Razorbacks will take the court this Saturday in Ann Arbor, Mich., as the Hogs face No. 3 Michigan. The game will be televised on CBS at 11 a.m. CT.

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