Arkansas 101, Auburn 87

Birthday boy Bobby Portis pours in 22 points and grabs 8 rebounds, Michael Qualls breaks out of a slump with 19 points, Anthlon Bell adds 16 and Rashad Madden has 12 points, 8 rebounds and zero turnovers as visiting No. 24 Arkansas downs Auburn 101-87 Tuesday night in Auburn, Ala.

Auburn, Ala -- Bobby Portis scored 22 points and Michael Qualls had 19 to lead No. 24 Arkansas to a 101-87 victory over Auburn Tuesday night for another comfortable Southeastern Conference win.

The Razorbacks (19-5, 8-3 SEC) did it with hot shooting, making 11 of 23 3-pointers and shooting 53.8 percent from the floor (35 of 65). They fell short of winning three straight SEC games by 20-plus points for the first time but weren't really threatened.

Arkansas, whose has won five of its last six games, had 23 assists on 35 made field goals.

"Wow, you talk about sharing the basketball and we made shots," Razorback head coach Mike Anderson said. "That was the big key, that we made shots tonight. Our defense was good enough to get us where we needed to, especially at halftime when we got up 11. Our guys played some pretty good basketball against a hungry Auburn basketball team and we did it right from the start."

Arkansas - who led 58-47 at halftime - also forced 17 turnovers, had 10 steals and seven blocked shots.

The Razorbacks scored 100 points for the first time in an SEC game this season and third overall. They had won the past two games while allowing a combined 96 points but this one turned into a shootout with help from a bundle of foul shots.

Arkansas, which has now won 6 of its last 10 SEC road games, made 20 of 25 free throws, or 80 percent. Auburn went to the line 40 times and made 31 (77.5 percent).

"I wasn't happy with them scoring 47 points," Anderson said. "You have to remember the last few games we had given up 41 and 50-something points, but a lot of those (tonight) were free throws. They shot 40 free throws. We have got to start making adjustments to how they are calling the game because we got into foul trouble with some guys.

"....In the second half, I thought we rebounded and defended and a lot of those turnovers took place in the second half and we were able to get out and get some lay ups."

Anderson is now 6-0 against Auburn while the Razorbacks have won eight straight against the Tigers, including all four games the teams have played at Auburn Arena - which opened in 2010.

Qualls had 16 points in the first half and Portis carried much of the load from there. The SEC's top scorer had 14 points after halftime. Anthlon Bell scored 16 points and made four 3-pointers.

After going just 9-of-51 from the field after a 30-point career-high performance against Alabama, Qualls - who injured his knee two games ago - had a marvelous game as he hit his first five shots and his first trio of 3-pointers.

"Every passing day my leg heals and it gets better," Qualls said. "I just came out and tried to focus and tried to play. I am still a little hesitant about attacking because of my leg, but Saturday I should be in full effect. Tonight if I did attack, I wanted it to be smart attacks."

The fact that Auburn began the game trash talking spurred Qualls on.

"It was real fun, real chippie and real physical," Qualls said. "There was trash talking going on all night. That's the type of game that you want to step up and play hard in. We want to play physical...You are not going to have people talking down to you and you not step up the occasion."

"We saw Mike in a different light tonight," Anderson said. "I thought he started off the game right, the way he started attacking and getting to the basket and getting to the free throw line and before you know it now he is knocking down a couple of shots.

"And then of course it was Bobby," Anderson said. "Happy Birthday, Bobby. What a birthday gift. We had a lot of heroes out there tonight, including Jacorey Williams coming back in his native state to play and I thought he played well."

Bell has now hit 4 3-pointers in two successive games.

"We saw him continue to find that rhythm," Anderson said of Bell. "He's a guy that we gave got to have, a guy coming off the bench with some big, big points and making some big shots.

Rashad Madden scored 12 points and had 8 assists and Alandise Harris had 10 points while Anton Beard had 7 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists.

"Ky (Madden) with eight assists and no turnovers - that's a pretty impressive stat line," Anderson noted.

K.T. Harrell and K.C. Ross-Miller each had 21 points to lead Auburn.

Cinmeon Bowers - a 6-7, 278-pound forward is the SEC's leading rebounder at 11 a game - had 10 points and 8 rebounds, but was just 4-of-10 from the field.

"Bobby used his length and we had some help on him," Anderson said. "But I will tell you what he is something to play against. He can really, really pass the basketball."

The game stretched nearly two hours and 30 minutes with a combined 54 fouls and four technicals called.

"One of the things I told our guys was don't let them get up under your skin because of the physicality and talking and that's part of the game," Anderson said. "If you let that get under your skin, you can unravel a little bit. At times we did do it. But in the end, I thought it was a great team win. our bench gave in and gave us some great, great minutes."



Rashad Madden lets go of a 3-pointer that found net



Michael Qualls scores two of his 19 points over Auburn's K T Harrell





Bobby Portis scores inside against Auburn's 6-7, 278-pound Cinmeon Bowers, the SEC's leading rebounder.





Mike Anderson voices his displeasure over one of the 53 fouls called in the game.





Bruce Pearl wasn't happy at times either.





Arkansas' players get hyped up before the game at Auburn


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