Longar Outlasts Arkansas Post Players

FAYETTEVILLE — Big picture, the Arkansas frontcourt got the best of Oklahoma. The Razorbacks scored 42 points in the paint in their 83-72 loss Saturday at Oklahoma. The Sooners tallied just 28. Arkansas finished with a season-high 24 offensive rebounds, Oklahoma with just 12.

But during the crucial moments of Arkansas' second defeat this season, during the game-deciding plays, Oklahoma's Longar Longar produced. The 6-foot-11 senior came up with two key free throws, a monumental block and an emphatic dunk during a late, game-clinching 7-0 OU run.

"Any time we were able to get close," Arkansas coach John Pelphrey said. "Their big fella was a big presence."

Longar only had the chance to put Arkansas away late because of the Razorback forwards and centers. Without them, the Razorbacks surely wouldn't have been close enough to threaten the Sooners in the final minutes. Arkansas' constant rebounding activity helped the Hogs cancel out an abysmal shooting night, which consisted of 12 3-point misses in the second half.

The number was higher than normal, Pelphrey said, because of the amount of misfired shots.

"If you miss it at the alarming rate we did, then there are more opportunities to grab them," Pelphrey said.

But that didn't sour Pelphrey on his players' collective heart. In particular, 6-foot-10 sophomore Michael Washington never gave up. He kept fighting for offensive rebounds and turned three of his nine offensive boards into six of his team-high 16 points.

Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel recalled experiencing frustration from the sideline. "I can't remember the last time we got a defensive rebound," Capel said he thought to himself late in the game. But then, Longar almost single-handedly squashed Arkansas' hopes.

Moving forward, Pelphrey still has issues with his frontcourt. Thomas was punished for missing the bus Friday and didn't start, and Hill continues to be foul-prone, inconsistent on defense and nonexistent on offense. Saturday, though, proved the Razorbacks can take on an equally-sized frontcourt and succeed. Now, they just have to prove they can come up with plays down the stretch.

"Their big guy beat us this time at the end," Arkansas guard Stefan Welsh said. "I don't think that will happen a lot."



WEDNESDAY'S TICKET

NORTHWESTERN (LA.) STATE AT ARKANSAS

WHEN: 7:05 p.m. TV: ARSN (Cox Ch. 9)

WHERE: Bud Walton Arena

RADIO: KXIO-FM 106.9; KEZA-FM 107.9; KKEG-FM 92.1; KFPW-AM 1230; KQBK-FM 104.7; KHGG-AM 1580; KHGG-FM 103.1; KDYN-AM 1540; KDYN-FM 96.7; KTTG-FM 96.3

RECORDS: NSU 4-7, Arkansas 8-2



BATTLE IN THE PAINT

Arkansas' frontcourt players encountered their stiffest test this season in Oklahoma's physical group of forwards and centers and prevailed in points (36-32) and rebounds (23-21).

Player Points Rebounds

Arkansas

Michael Washington 16 12

Darian Townes 13 7

Charles Thomas 7 3

Steven Hill 0 1

Oklahoma

Longar Longar 17 7

Blake Griffin 11 6

Taylor Griffin 4 8

Keith Clark 0 0

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