Razorbacks Senior Feels Redemption

FAYETTEVILLE — As the horn sounded to end the game, Arkansas senior forward/center Darian Townes sprouted a wide grin.

He was mighty happy his team had just beaten Alabama 71-67 in overtime in front of 19,153 satisfied citizens in Bud Walton Arena on Sunday.

Personally, he wasn't as happy Thursday night, even though the Razorbacks beat Auburn on the road.

"I think I didn't come to play on my half, but the team stepped it up and got it done," Townes said. "I didn't do a couple of key things but I don't think I played a good game like I did today.

"I think I just didn't play hard from jump street."

Against Auburn last Thursday, Townes only had 4 points, 3 rebounds and 4 turnovers.

Against Alabama on Sunday, he tied a season high in points with 18, grabbed 3 rebounds, had 2 steals and 1 assist.

"It felt real good," Townes said. "I just wanted to redeem myself from the Auburn game. We had a nice game and we knew coming in Alabama was going to give us its best shot and we pulled one out in overtime."

Townes said Razorbacks coach John Pelphrey didn't single him out after the Auburn game and make him feel worse than he already did.

"Naw, that's just me," Townes said. "I looked at the game again on ESPN and saw the mistakes I made and I kind of corrected them today. Not boxing out, not playing good defense from the start.

"I think I did a terrific job today."

So did Alabama forward Richard Hendrix.

"I've always had a lot of respect for him. I think he's a very good post player," Hendrix said. "He has a lot of moves, has a nice, soft touch, nice shooting touch. They put him in situations where he could score the ball and use his assets."

Razorbacks teammate Charles Thomas agreed.

"D. Townes came up big today," Thomas said. "He's a big-time player and he showed it again today."

It was Townes and Thomas who helped bottled up Hendrix and Alonzo Gee on the boards. Hendrix got only two offensive rebounds, Gee got none.

"We knew coming into this game that they were their two best guys," Townes said. "They average four offensive rebounds a game. Coach harped on that a lot. We just wanted to box them out.

"I don't think they had any offensive rebounds in the first half."

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