The University of Arkansas took its show on the road for the first time on Saturday, but the University of Oklahoma wasn't necessarily a gracious host.
Longar Longar and Austin Johnson both had 17 points as the Sooners broke away from a tied game midway through the second half to down the Razorbacks 83-72 at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.
UA sophomore Michael Washington had perhaps his best college game with 16 points and 12 rebounds for Arkansas (8-2), which had its seven-game win streak snapped.
"We certainly need to give Oklahoma credit because they played very well today in a lot of facets of the game," Arkansas head coach John Pelphrey said. "I think it was a two-point game with about four (minutes) to play. We had it right where we wanted it, a nice little chance to tie the game, but from that point on they just really played better than we did."
That was in part because Longar took over on both ends with three big blocked shots coming on the defensive end.
"They scored the ball and then every time we got close to the basket Longar Longar just erased any really good opportunity that somebody might have had," Pelphrey said.
Darian Townes added 13 points and 7 rebounds and Sonny Weems 11 points in the loss to the Sooners (8-3), who were coming into the game off a home loss last Saturday to Stephen F. Austin.
"It is really disappointing from our standpoint to not come in here and get it done," Pelphrey added. "We took too many 3-point shots (22) and not enough free throws (17)…It is a wasted opportunity for us on the road – especially with a national (ESPN2) audience."
Omar Leary added 12 – all in the first half and all on 3-pointers – as did Tony Crocker while Blake Griffin chipped in 11 in the win for OU, who had just 8 turnovers against the Arkansas pressure.
The Razorbacks, who shot 42 percent from the field, were just 5 of 22 from 3-point range while the Sooners were 11-of-25 from beyond the arc and shot 46.7 percent overall from the field.
"For the first time all year I thought we really struggled guarding them and it was so much that action we couldn't handle," Pelphrey said. "Those guys just jumped up in some places and made 3-point shots."
Arkansas, who is now 9-38 on the road since the 2002-2003 season, was only 9-of-17 from the free throw line while OU made 16 of 20.
The Razorbacks found themselves down by 7 midway through the second half before Washington's lay-up and a Beverley steal and dunk in the backcourt got the visitors going.
When Washington buried a 3-pointer after chasing down a loose ball rebound, Arkansas had come all the way back to tie it 58-58 at the 10:19 mark.
Washington actually got the start because Charles Thomas was late to the bus.
"I wish that I could say that was good coaching on my part to sub him in there, but that was because Charles Thomas couldn't get to the bus on time," Pelphrey said. "We are certainly going to do things the right way around here. We like to do the ordinary things better than anybody else and we are working on it. Charles gave Mike that opportunity and I thought Mike responded beautifully."
Oklahoma responded by scoring seven of the next nine points only to see Arkansas rally right back to 65-63 on Washington's free throw with 6:01 left in the game.
It was still a 3-point game with just over three minutes left when OU begin pulling away and Arkansas quit scoring.
"I am just a little disappointed that we had a wonderful opportunity here on the road and just were not ready to close it out," Pelphrey said.
The Sooners got the first five points of the game and got out to an 11-4 lead, but the Razorbacks came back later in the half.
Arkansas finally took the lead on Gary Ervin's lay-up that made it 25-24 with 8:43 left and its largest advantage (30-27) of the first half on Ervin's basket just over a minute later.
Leary and Johnson drilled back-to-back 3-pointers to give the home team a lead it would keep the rest of the opening half.
Leary's fourth 3-pointer of the first 20 minutes combined with Tony Crocker's dunk pushed OU ahead 45-39 at halftime.
"Today our problem was defense," Pelphrey said. "We just couldn't stop them enough, especially in the second half and specifically inside of four minutes."
Arkansas will return to action next Wednesday when it hosts Northwestern (La.) State at 7:05 p.m. at Bud Walton Arena.
Longar Longar tumbles over Charles Thomas.
Steven Hill blocks a shot as Tony Crocker tries to get to the rim
Austin Johnson shoots over Stefan Welsh during Saturday's game.
OU 83, Arkansas 72
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