Aggressive Play Helps Razorbacks Forget Road

AUBURN, Ala. -- Seeing a 16-point lead shrink to six in a little more than three minutes in the second half could've sent Arkansas reeling on the road once again.

They jump out to a big lead, then the opposition makes a run, the crowd gets into the game, and everything comes crumbling down.

Saturday at Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum, Arkansas finally found a way to break out of that funk that had grabbed them as recently as Wednesday.

The Razorbacks did it by making a conscious effort to stay aggressive, and won their first SEC road game since Feb. 5 of last year and only their second in three seasons.

After putting up 27 3-point attempts in Wednesday's 78-75 overtime loss at Alabama -- a game Arkansas led by 13 at one point -- the Razorbacks attempted just 13 threes on Saturday, choosing instead to rely on their size advantage underneath and take the ball inside in an attempt to draw fouls.

The Tigers were called for 23 fouls to Arkansas' 14, a big difference from the 23-13 edge in fouls Alabama had against the Razorbacks.

When Auburn's 10-0 run‚ immediately following an 11-0 Razorbacks run, cut the lead to six, the Razorbacks didn't panic, responding with another run of their own, this one a 7-0 spurt to put the game out of reach for good.

"When you play a team that shoots the three real well and that's a big part of what they do, the game can be that way," said Arkansas coach Stan Heath. "It's a feast or famine situation and when we're able to keep them down, it helps us get out and run and get in transition and that happened to us quite a few times."

Auburn was shooting nearly 40 percent from behind the 3-point line. Saturday, though, the Tigers were just 4-for-19 from behind the arc (21 percent).

A second-half surge of outside shooting never happened, as Auburn was just 1-for-11 on 3-pointers after the break.

"The biggest key that we wanted to do was defend the three and we did a good job of that this game," Heath said.

Attacking the basket also helps teams get breaks from the officials, Heath said.

"If you're shooting a lot of jump shots, you're probably not going to get the benefit of the doubt on the whistles," Heath said. "If you're attacking the basket or if you're going inside or if you're getting second-chance opportunities, you're normally going to get rewarded that way."

After turning the ball over 12 times in the first half, the Razorbacks gave the ball up just seven times after the break.

Auburn wasn't able to take advantage of Arkansas' turnover troubles early, turning just two of those giveaways into four points.

Arkansas' last win in Auburn came in 2002, Nolan Richardson's final season.

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