ATHENS, Ga. – The sites may change, but the road game futility remains the same.
Kenny Gaines had 15 points and Marcus Thornton posted a double-double with 11 points and a career-high 13 rebounds as Georgia downed Arkansas 66-61 iSaturday afternoon n overtime before 6,662 fans at Stegeman Coliseum.
The Razorbacks (12-5, 1-3) led by seven in the second half, but once again let a lead slip away while falling to 9-60 in their last 69 road games.
"First of all, it wasn't one of those pretty games," Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson said. "It was one of those games that was real rough and rugged. As a matter of fact, I thought we were playing football out there the way the game was being called.
"They got 24 offensive rebounds and a bunch of that was over our backs," Anderson added. "Our guys tried to keep them off. We had an opportunity win in regulation, but let's give Georgia credit. They came out and they were really fighting and scratching."
The Bulldogs (9-7, 3-1) are now tied for second in the SEC race with Kentucky behind leader Florida (4-0).
"That's a hard-fought SEC game," Georgia head coach Mark Fox said. "We beat a really good Arkansas team, so we should feel like we accomplished something today because [Arkansas] is a really good basketball team. It was a hard-fought slugfest. That's a game where both teams are really defending, and fortunately for us, we won the rebounding battle. But that was a dogfight, and we feel good about coming away with a win."
Coty Clarke had 13 points to lead Arkansas while fellow Fred Gulley had a career-high 12 points and Rashad Madden added 12 as well.
Anderson thought Gulley and Clarke gave him every thing they had on Saturday before fouling out while Michael Qualls (1of-10 from the field) and Bobby Portis (2-of-7) - the Razorbacks' two leading scorers – combined for just nine points.
"They really did," Anderson said. "That was key to even keep us in the game. We talk about two guys who have been scoring for us scoring just nine points. They gave effort, but they couldn't finish."
Madden – who hit two free throws to tie it 52-52 - had a shot to win the game in regulation, but his 3-point was off the mark and Arkansas played its third straight overtime game.
Anderson said after the game that he told Madden to attack the basket.
"You knew that Georgia was going to come out in attack mode, but we were in position to win this game," Anderson said. "It was just some execution going down the stretch here and there.
"And then when got into overtime, I thought we were in pretty good shape because we had just played two games in overtime. But they come out and hit a big three and it seemed like we never did recover."
Clarke, Madden and Gulley were 12-of-24 from the field while the rest of the team was an abysmal 9-of-42.
The Razorbacks were 21-of-66 from the field overall, 7-of-23 from 3 point range and 12-20 from the free throw line.
"I always tell our guys there is a thin line between winning and losing, especially on the road," Anderson said. "When those opportunities come, you have to take advantage of them."
Qualls did have a team-high 7 rebounds and 5 assists while Harris added 9 points and Portis 6 rebounds.
The Bulldogs won despite shooting 29 percent from the field (18-of-58) and 2-of-14 from 3-point range, but made 28-of-39 free throws and out-rebounded Arkansas 56-34.
"When you get out-reboiunded by 22 - and that to me is the most disappointing thing is rebounding," Anderson said. "Rebounding is effort, That is something that you have to correct and maybe you do that with personnel. We are going to have to get some other guys on the floor more.
"We have just as good a size as Georgia," Anderson said. "It is about wanting it. How bad do you want it?"
Arkansas led 29-28 at halftime and pushed its lead to 41-34 with 15:59 left when Gulley scored eight straight points.
But the Razorbacks would have 12 straight empty possessions without a point after that basket.
"We came out and fought and scratched and had a little seven-point lead, but never could ease out anymore and that enabled them to get to the free throw line," Anderson said. "I mean 39 free throws – that is bunch of free throws there.
"As I said, the 24 offensive rebounds – it tells you about the hustle," Anderson said. "They had 10 team rebounds, which tells you that they were getting all the loose balls."
Arkansas, 2-24 on the road under Anderson, plays at Tennessee on Wednesday night.
Georgia 66, Arkansas 61 (OT)
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