Thomas Makes Difference For Hogs

FAYETTEVILLE -- Charles Thomas returned to Arkansas' lineup with a vengeance on Wednesday night, getting 10 points and seven rebounds in a 65-57 win over Auburn.

"I played my physical game," Thomas said. "I knew I was going to play, right after the Kentucky game. I won't let my team down again."

Thomas, a 6-foot-8 junior forward, missed the Kentucky game with a strained right shoulder.

"It felt good to get back in the rotation," he said. "I'm still only at about 80 percent, but I set the tone at the beginning, before they started double-teaming me."

Hogs coach Stan Heath said, "We certainly needed Charles. He wasn't a '10' tonight, but his presence gave us a big lift. He gives us great versatility."

Thomas called Auburn a "quality team," and therefore he termed the result a "quality win."

He added, "Now we've got to go to LSU on Saturday and take care of business."

Thomas said his shoulder had slid about one third of the way out of place in practice on Monday, before popping back, and had pained him all day Wednesday.



Hill Tweaks Hamstring

Hogs center Steven Hill left the game with one minute, 28 seconds left, with a strained hamstring in his left leg and could miss Saturday's game against LSU in Baton Rouge.

"He's questionable right now," coach Stan Heath said. "I don't know how severe it is. We'll know more in a couple of days."



George Honored

Johnny George, public address announcer at UA basketball games the past 26 years, has been named the P.A. man for the Southeastern Conference Tournament.

"It's a great honor," George said. "The SEC commissioner's office called Monday and said I had been chosen after a poll of all 12 schools. I'm excited."

George, 50, is the executive vice president of The Pinnacle Group in Rogers. He began as Arkansas' P.A. announcer in 1980-81, after Bill Rogers had filled that role for five years.

Carl Stephens, 77, of Auburn had worked the past 14 SEC Tournaments, and all 13 SEC football championship games, before retiring recently.

If George does well at the tourney in Atlanta in March, it's possible he'll also do P.A. for the SEC football title game.

"I'm flattered," George said. "It took me about five minutes to accept. I called my wife first."



Streak Continues

Arkansas became the fifth school in the country to make a 3-pointer in 600 consecutive games.

On Wednesday night, the Razorbacks were only 4 of 15 from behind the arc, but some came at opportune times.

The Razorbacks recorded their first 3-pointer when, with 11:33 left in the first half, guard Stefan Welsh buried a trey to tie the score at 15.

"We struggled at first," said Razorbacks guard Gary Ervin, who was 2-of-4 from behind the arc. "In the first half, our big guys kept us in the game. We got some important 3-pointers when we needed them."



Coming Attractions

Arkansas returns to action Saturday, playing at LSU. On Feb. 14, the Razorbacks play at Mississippi State.

Arkansas returns home to meet Ole Miss in Bud Walton Arena on Feb. 17 before returning to the road, playing at Auburn on Feb. 21.




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