FAYETTEVILLE - Arkansas has lost some games in bizarre ways since Nolan Richardson was ushered out the door back in 2001.
On Saturday night, another gem was added to the list.
Tied 43-43 with Ole Miss with 11:20 left in the game, Michael Sanchez was fouled – but because his elbow made contact with defender while being fouled, he was also called for an intentional foul.
Soon afterwards the Rebels went on a 17-4 run and raced away to a 69-60 win over the Razorbacks before 10,064 fans at Bud Walton Arena.
"For whatever reason, we never got quite right after that," Arkansas head coach John Pelphrey said. "We thought it was going to bea tie score and at the free throw line with a one-and-one. We don't make the free throws."
Marshawn Powell had 19 points to lead Arkansas (14-8, 4-5), but that didn't keeop the Razorbacks from losing their second straight home game after a road win over No. 19 Vanderbilt.
Pelphrey was not happy that with the aformentioned rule, but knows that it was properly applied.
"That is the rule," Pelphrey said. "Obviously in the last year or so, maybe two – whatever – if a guy gets hit whether he is in somebody else's face or not – it's a technical foul and you get the ball back.
"They converted two free throws, we did not, I think they scored," Pelphrey added. "I am not sure what happened on our next possession. Offensively, they had a run there and we didn't. We didn't score after that."
Chris Warren – the nation's leading free throw shooter – made both free throws en route to scoring 15 of his team-high 19 points in the second half.
Zach Graham added 17 points, Terrence Henry 11 and Reginald Buckner nearly a triple double with 11 points, 12 rebounds and 8 of his team's 12 blocks.
All had key plays after the foul call – which Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy was happy to accept as his team was winning its third straight at Bud Walton Arena.
"That's that new rule," Kennedy said. "John and I, nobody is really in favor of the rule, we don't know where the rule came from, they didn't ask us.
"I guess even though Trevor Gaskins was called for the foul, any contact with an elbow in the upper extremity, is considered – well, they called it something, flagrant technical, something," Kennedy added.
Kennedy was thrilled to get to send Warren to the line.
"I thought Gaskins would have to shoot it, but I get to pick the shooter and I am going to pick the guy that leads the nation," Kennedy said. "He made two, we get the ball back and to be honest I can't remember what happened after that, but I think we scored two more free throws.
Pelphrey was asked if it was hard not to get a technical foul in that situation.
"Bottom line is that when things aren't going so well, I think there is a time and place that a coach may get a technical foul or whatever, but I didn't think that was the time or place,' Pelphrey said. "Certainly I am expected to conduct myself in an appropriate manner, I am trying to lead this young men.
"You might be frustrated or whatever." Pelphrey added. "Sometimes you might need to do some of those things, but I think tonight I was trying to keep our composure and play through the tough moments."
Ole Miss jumped out to a 16-4 lead without Warren - averaging 18 points - having a single tally.
But Arkansas closed to within 18-17 and kept coming and kept coming until Sanchez' free throw put the Razorbacks ahead 39-38 with 13:54 remaining.
Nobles hit a 3-pointer that tied the game 43-43 with 12:51 left, but the Razorbacks would not have another field goal until Powell scored with 5:24 left in the game to begin to cut into a 60-49 deficit.
The closest the Razorbacks got after that was 64-56, but Buckner then launched his only 3-pointer of the season - one that came with one second on the shot clock and with less than two minutes to play.
The Razorbacks shot 36 percent from the field and after making their first 10 free throws ended up 21-of-30 from the line.
"Obviously we felt like we struggled to score in both halves," Pelphrey said. " Buckner was outstanding. He had a big impact on the game. We had good stretches with the defense, but didn't play well enough in the last six minutes to win the game."
Ole Miss was 13-of-14 from the line and shot 44.6 percent from the field for the game.
"We shoot the ball better there than we do at home," Warren said.
Powell didn't start after suffering a ankle injury in the pre-game shootaround according to Pelphrey.
Arkansas will return to action on Wednesday night at Mississippi State before hosting LSU next Saturday at Bud Walton Arena.
"There are a lot of games to be played and certainly we are disappointed," Pelphrey said. "But we have to get ready, we have got to step up and go to work."
Michael Sanchez reaches for a loose basketball.
Delvon Johnson fights his way to the basket.
Jeff Peterson scores a basket early in the second half.
Mardracus Wade took a steal for a breakaway layup.
Photos by Marc F. Henning, Hawgs Illustrated