Famutimi Shoulders Part Of Blame In Loss

FAYETTEVILLE --Olu Famutimi didn't sit there like a blathering idiot, making lame excuses.

No, clearly the 6-foot-5 Arkansas sophomore swingman took it like a man.

Shortly after No. 23 Alabama beat Arkansas 64-61 on Tuesday night in Bud Walton Arena, Famutimi answered one brutal question.

He didn't stutter. Didn't alibi.

Did he really foul Alabama's Kennedy Winston with 9.8 seconds left and the Crimson Tide coddling a 63-61 lead?

"Well, they (officials) said I did," Famutimi said. "I thought it was a bad call. I thought it came late. You know, they said it was a foul but they called it pretty late.

"What can I say?"

Winston stepped up to the free-throw line with a one-and-one. He popped in the first one and missed the second. Still, that one shot helped stitch up the win.

It was a bittersweet ending for Famutimi, who had showed signs of brilliance in the first half, only to have it somewhat fall apart in the final 20 minutes.

Again, he didn't alibi. Didn't make excuses.

"Honestly, I didn't play all that well in the second half," Famutimi said. "I think they kind of forced me to dial it down in the second half with their defense. I think I had better shots in the first half and they played me pretty well.

"Every shot I took in the second half, they made me work extra hard for it.

"That was the difference."

In the first half, Famutimi played 17 minutes. He scored 8 points, was 3 of 5 from the floor, including 2 of 4 from 3-point range.

Famutimi finished the game by scoring 10 points, hitting 4 of 8 from the floor -- he was 2 of 5 from 3-point range -- and had 3 rebounds and 2 turnovers in 29 minutes.

But, yeah, Famutimi did a lot of positive things in the first half even though Arkansas trailed 34-33.

For example:

w With the game only 36 seconds old, Famutimi buried a long 3-pointer from the right wing.

w With 9 minutes, 23 seconds left in the first half, he buried another 3, which lifted the Hogs in front 20-18.

w With 4:31 left in the first half, Famutimi skied for an ally-oop pass from teammate Ronnie Brewer, which he promptly smashed through the nets to lift Arkansas to a 33-24 lead.

"I thought he did a lot of good things for us in the first half," said Arkansas coach Stan Heath. "I thought Olu came out early and did a lot of good things. He hit a couple of big 3-pointers, things like that."

Famutimi admitted he's been working hard on taking more -- and better -- shots.

Statistically, it shows he's done that.

For example, coming into the game, Famutimi was 24 of 56 on his 3-point attempts (.429 percent) compared to last year when he managed to hit only 12 of 51 (.235 percent) from 3-point range.

"He's got a good mid-range shot, too," Heath said. "He's just got to use it a little more."

Famutimi thinks so, too.

"I still have some work to do," he said. "I just have to just keep playing hard and things will work out.

"That's my goal."

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