Davis Hardly Played Sickly

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - As Arkansas coach Stan Heath left the interview room of Coleman Coliseum after the Hogs' 72-63 loss here against No. 16 Alabama, he bumped into Crimson Tide forward Chuck Davis.

"Hey, I wish you would've felt better!" Heath said.

Davis had been battling flu-like symptoms for several days and "a couple of" practices. Teammate Earnest Shelton said Davis did not get out of his bed on Monday, but he practiced a bit on Tuesday.

Davis said he felt "100 percent" Wednesday night.

He played like it, scoring a game-high 21 points (7 of 9 from the field) and pulled down 6 rebounds in 37 minutes.

"I was proud of Chuck," said Alabama coach Mark Gottfried. "Chuck wasn't at full-strength. He played 37 minutes, more than I wanted to play him, but he was playing so well it was tough to take him out."

Heath was asked if Davis' performance took him by surprise.

"It didn't surprise me," Heath said. "I've seen good players not feeling well, and it just seems like their focus and attention to detail picks up a notch.

"I'd much rather see him healthy than sick."

With 11:02 remaining in the first half, Arkansas already had been whistled for seven fouls, pushing Alabama into the 1-and-1 bonus.

At that time, the Crimson Tide had been called for one foul.

By the time 3:11 remained in the half, eight Hogs had been whistled, but just one, freshman center Steven Hill, had two fouls.

At halftime, the Hogs had 10 fouls. Alabama had four. Arkansas made 4 of 4 free throws. The Crimson Tide made 11 of 14.

For the game, Arkansas was whistled 26 times to Alabama's nine. The Hogs made 7 of 12 free throws. Alabama hit 24 of 36.

Arkansas' Ronnie Brewer and Jonathon  Modica fouled out.

"Just way too many (fouls)," Heath said. "Too lop-sided. We've got to move our feet a lot better, got to be a more aggressive team to get the contact down there and get to the free-throw line."

Keeping Scores
Three of the top six SEC scorers played in this game.

Alabama junior forward Kennedy Winston (18.0 ppg) is second, Arkansas' Brewer (16.2), a sophomore guard, is fifth, and Alabama senior guard Earnest Shelton (16.2) is sixth.

Winston scored 18 points and Shelton added 19 for Alabama.

Brewer was held to 11 points on 4 of 13 shooting from the field.

Famutimi Drives
Arkansas sophomore swingman Olu Famutimi has been talking about driving to the basket more.

Wednesday night, he walked the walk, driving twice in the second half.

With 18:37 left, Famutimi attacked Alabama's zone defense, slamming, one-handed, over Davis.

Less than a minute later, he drove the right baseline for another basket.

Famutimi scored 9 points on 4 of 9 field-goal attempts in 27 minutes.

Not In With The Top 25
Wednesday night's setback against No. 16 Alabama makes the Hogs winless against Top-25 teams this season, and they aren't scheduled to face any more.

Arkansas lost against then-No. 3 Illinois in Little Rock on Dec. 4, against then-No. 21 Alabama in Fayetteville on Jan. 11, at then-No. 11 Mississippi State on Jan. 15 and against then-No. 6 Kentucky in Fayetteville on Jan. 29.

The last time the Hogs beat a Top-25 team was last season, when Arkansas knocked off then-No. 25 South Carolina, 82-66, in Bud Walton Arena on Feb. 21.

He's Got Game
Jefferson-Pilot analyst Barry Booker showed he knows what he's talking about.

Booker entertained fans several minutes before Wednesday night's tip-off by firing some one-handed 3-pointers at the basket behind which the Alabama students are situated.

After several close calls, Booker used both hands to sink one, then followed it up with a one-hand swisher.

Wednesday's victory gave Gottfried his fourth 20-win season and second in a row.

Asked if he was excited about that, Gottfried deadpanned: "No, not really."

Alabama has now had 23 20-win seasons.

Home, Sweet Home
Coleman Coliseum is one of the loudest venues in the Southeastern Conference, and the Crimson Tide's record here this season reflects that.

Gottfried is 92-13 here and Alabama's all-time record in Coleman Coliseum is 407-87.

But Gottfried was angry with Wednesday night's attendance of 9,410.

"I want to say this - this is important to me," Gottfried said. "We had a lot of empty seats here tonight. There were a lot of fans who weren't here and they're season ticket holders. It's disheartening for the kids to walk out here and see the arena the way it was tonight.

"We've got something special going. It shouldn't be like that, should not be like that with the success the kids are having."

When Coleman Coliseum (originally named Memorial Coliseum) opened in 1968, it was the SEC's largest arena with a 15,032-seat capacity.

The facility is currently undergoing "a thorough modernization." According to Alabama sports information literature, the facelift "will dramatically improve the venue, including the lobby, coaches' offices, concourse and seating areas. Additionally, a newly designed entrance for the coliseum will be created off of Bryant Drive."

The upgrade is expected to be completed in the near future.

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