BASKETBALL: Wildcats Bully Razorbacks

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Arkansas coach John Pelphrey didn't have to dig very deep to explain his team's 63-58 loss to Kentucky.

All he needed to do — or anyone else for that matter — was take a quick glance at the rebounding total on the stat sheet.

Arkansas may be bigger and deeper in the frontcourt, but the Wildcats bullied the Razorbacks in Rupp Arena on Saturday. Kentucky outrebounded Arkansas 38-23. Even more, the Wildcats grabbed 13 offensive rebounds, while the Razorbacks managed only three.

The effort left Pelphrey questioning what is supposed to be one of Arkansas' strengths after the game.

"Everybody talks about our advantage up front and you didn't see it (Saturday)," Pelphrey said. "I'm still waiting for this great frontcourt (they're) talking about. I know there was talk about pros and stuff.

"Well, pros are supposed to get offensive rebounds."

Arkansas entered the game as the second-best rebounding team in the Southeastern Conference, but didn't resemble it.

The Razorbacks — who used a five-player rotation which included seniors Steven Hill, Darian Townes, Charles Thomas and Vincent Hunter — were outscored 12-1 on second-chance points. Meanwhile, Kentucky post players Patrick Patterson and Perry Stevenson combined to grab 18 rebounds. Six of those came on the offensive end.

"They crash the boards really, really hard and just ended up coming out with them," Hill said. "We need to do a better job of blocking out."

Picking the most frustrating moment isn't easy. But one strong candidate came midway through the second half, when Kentucky had to inbound the ball with only one second on the shot clock.

Patterson got off a shot that missed the mark, but Stevenson corralled the loose ball. Stevenson's follow missed, but Kentucky guard Joe Crawford grabbed the rebound. The senior made a jumper 22 seconds later to give the Wildcats a 47-46 lead.

"That killed us," said Hill, who had three rebounds. "It gives them more and more opportunities, more and more possessions to score.

"In a tight game, it's really deflating."

So is getting only one shot at the basket.

Arkansas entered the game averaging 13.5 offensive rebounds. Three was its fewest of the season. The previous low was eight.

In addition, it was the ninth time in 26 games this season the Razorbacks have been outrebounded. They are now 3-6 in those games.

"I can't believe they only got three offensive rebounds," Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie said. "It was fantastic. That was a major concern because of their length and athleticism. For us to be able to keep them from getting more offensive rebounds is huge."

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