B.J. Young scored 25 points and Marshawn Powell had 20 to help Arkansas win for the first time on the road in an 83-75 victory over Auburn on Wednesday night.
"This was a highly contested game where two teams really wanted to get a win," Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson said. "Having Marshawn out there really helped us and BJ showed us what he is capable of. It was a good win, but hopefully it is just a start for them."
The Razorbacks (15-9, 6-5 Southeastern Conference) had lost their first six road games but controlled this one down the stretch.
"It was a new feeling," Young said of the road win. "It was different. I know we have a long bus ride to the airport and a long plane ride but at least we get to go home happy. We always have to go home and have a meeting, and we always dread the meeting because we lost and did stuff wrong. Now that we have this win, we don't have to have that meeting. We get to play around, laugh and enjoy the bus ride and plane ride back home."
The Tigers (9-15, 3-8), who have lost eight of nine, trimmed a 12-point deficit to three in the final five minutes.
Then Powell and Young combined for the next seven points and Powell also had a nice dish to Mardracus Wade for another basket.
Young, who started for the first time in four games, capped his evening with three free throws and a breakaway dunk in the final seconds.
"I thought our focus was great today," Anderson said. "I could see it at the shoot around and pregame. Our guys were really honing in on the task at hand, and we came out and performed for 40 minutes. We've done it for 30 minutes. We've done it for 25, but we fought tonight for 40 minutes."
That was not the case with his team per Auburn head coach Tony Barbee, whose team had beaten Alabama and battled at Kentucky hard before coming into this game.
"I just thought we played two of the best games we had all year," Barbee said. "We didn't play great offensively against Alabama. We just collectively fought our butts off. Even though we didn't win at Kentucky, we collectively, together, fought our tails off. It is disappointing that we come in here for a half and not put forth a complete game. I wish I had the answers. If I did, it wouldn't happen."
Powell, who had 28 points and 11 rebounds in the first meeting, grabbed nine boards in the Razorbacks' sixth straight win in the series.
Powell got two quick early fouls - as has been the norm on the road - but played through it in the second half.
"Tonight, he got in foul trouble, but we had some other guys come off the bench and really step up," Anderson said. "Jacorey Williams gave us some great minutes. Hunter Mickleson gave us some great minutes, and BJ Young did a great job starting out, and he was the player we know he's capable of being. It was good to see him come out and really get into the rhythm. I thought Rickey Scott really gave us some good momentum early on."
Mardracus Wade and Scott each had 11 points for Arkansas.
This is the third straight year that Arkansas has won at Auburn.
"I don't think it's a success, I just think we played well," Anderson said. "We were a little bit better than they were tonight. Last year's game was a tough game. It's kind of like when you start off the season. You're putting it together and things just start falling in place. We've been through a lot this year, so it's just a matter of time before things start falling in place for our basketball team.
"I thought we took advantage of the advantages we did have, with a guy like Marshawn Powell that can step in, BJ Young that can get in open court and make some plays for us, and we made some shots," Anderson added. "When you're making shots it makes a big difference, but our defense was good, and it's that time of year where teams are going to play with a sense of urgency.
Chris Denson led Auburn with 18 points.
"Bonehead plays and not talking, as you see they have a lot of easy dunks and that's just bonehead plays, it's not talking and communicating, and we fought defensively the last two games and just to come back and give such a poor performance today was just disappointing," Denson said.
Frankie Sullivan had 11 points for the Tigers in his first game off the bench. He entered the game after the first three minutes but didn't hit a field goal until several minutes into the second half.
The Tigers' leading scorer had struggled in the seven games since pouring in 26 points in the 88-80 double-overtime loss to Arkansas on Jan. 16.
Auburn hit two 3-pointers in the final minute to come within five points. Young missed two free throws but Wade slipped inside for the rebound and follow-up shot after the second.
Young got more chances at the line and made 3 of 4 in the final 31 seconds before punctuating the win with the dunk.
Young, Powell and Wade hit consecutive 3-pointers in a just over a minute to give Arkansas a 59-47 lead just past the midpoint of the half.
The Razorbacks had five 3-pointers during that 17-5 run, including a pair by Young. Auburn center Rob Chubb was called for a foul after Powell's 3, setting up Wade's own long-range shot.
Auburn came back over the next five minutes and cut it to 61-58 on Jordon Granger's alley oop from Denson with 5:08 remaining.
Powell and Young aborted that comeback.
The Tigers trailed twice by nine points in the first half, but took a 35-33 lead into the locker room. Asauhn Dixon-Tatum scored on a putback with 4 seconds left.
The Razorbacks scored the first seven points of the second half to go ahead 40-35 and didn't give it up.
Arkansas 83, Auburn 75
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