DALLAS - Khris Middleton scored a career-high 31 points and No. 21 Texas A&M rallied from a nine-point deficit to down Arkansas 71-62 in overtime Saturday in the opener of The Showcase at the American Airlines Center.
Senior Nathan Walkup added 15 for the Aggies (10-1), who rallied from a 42-33 deficit early in the second half.
Rotnei Clarke had 14 points and Julysess Nobles 11 for Arkansas (7-2), who had a shot to win the game with it tied 60-60 in the final seconds of regulation.
"Both teams fought and competed hard," Arkansas head coach John Pelphrey said. "Overtime didn't go well for us again, but it was good to be in that situation. One play could have won the game for us. We just have to learn from this and become stronger."
Both teams shot 39 percent from the field and had offensive droughts in the game, including both going the final five minutes of regulation without any made field goals.
The Razorbacks hit only 16-of-28 from the free throw line and were out-rebounded 36-31 by the Aggies, who have out-rebounded all 11 of their foes this season.
Glenn Bryant had 9 points and 10 rebounds, Jeff Peterson 8 points and Marshawn Powell and Mardracus Wade 7 points each.
Arkansas did not have a field goal in the final 6:43 of regulation while A&M did not have a basket in the final 5:42 before heading into overtime.
That meant the two teams went over 8 minutes just making free throws until David Loubeau's basket over Clarke on an inbound play occurred with 2:10 left in overtime and put the Aggies up 63-60.
Peterson's lay-up with 18 seconds left in overtime meant that the Razorbacks failed to have a field goal for 11 minutes and 26 seconds after taking a 58-52 lead.
"It came down to two defensive teams that couldn't score and we made more free throws than they did," Texas A&M head coach Mark Turgeon said. "Our defense the last 10 minutes of the game was tremendous."
Arkansas had used a 10-3 run to end the half, taking a 35-33 lead when Nobles hit a runner at the buzzer.
The Razorbacks quickly pushed that to 42-33 in the second half as Powell connected on a pair of back-to-back baskets and Peterson drilled a 3-pointer.
That sparked a timeout and a bit of a scuffle as Peterson was going for a steal.
After 10 minutes of conferring the referees decided to assess Peterson a personal foul and both Arkansas forward Marvell Waithe and A&M's Kourtney Roberson were ejected for leaving the bench.
That scuffle seem to inspire the Aggies.
"It woke us up mainly," Middleton said. "It let us know we weren't going to let these guys push us around."
Turgeon agreed his club drew a spark from the pushing and shoving.
"We were sleepwalking," Turgeon said. "(The scuffle) seemed like it really changed the game for us."
Arkansas led 58-52 when Bryant scored on an athletic tip-in, but the Aggies rallied to take 60-58 lead.
Nobles hit two free throws with 1:03 left to tie the game.
Arkansas' defense forced a jump and a missed shot to give the Razorbacks a chance to have the last shot.
"Both teams fought and competed hard," Pelphrey said.
The Razorbacks return to action Wednesday night against Texas Southern.
Texas A&M 71, Arkansas 62 (OT)
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