Welsh Frustrated By Lack Of Playing Time

RALEIGH, N.C. — Arkansas backup point guard Stefan Welsh looked frustrated in the locker room following Sunday's 108-77 loss to top-ranked North Carolina in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

The sophomore was limited to only four minutes because of a sprained left ankle suffered in the first half of Friday night's win over Indiana.

Welsh, who had been receiving treatment in the hopes of playing, said his ankle felt "fine." But he added that Arkansas coach John Pelphrey thought it was best to not play the guard for an extended period of time.

"It was really coach's decision; I felt fine. I was into it," said Welsh, who scored no points and missed his only shot — a 3-point attempt. "Coach probably felt like he didn't want me to further my injury to my ankle."

Welsh entered the lineup for the first time with Arkansas trailing 9-0 with 17 minutes, 21 seconds remaining in the first half. He didn't stay in the lineup long, though.

Welsh didn't see any playing time in the second half. He said he didn't ask Pelphrey to put him back into the game, which quickly turned into a blowout.

"I gutted it out for two days trying to get ready to play. I wasn't 100 percent, but I was in good enough shape to play," Welsh said. "But coach didn't feel like it was safe for me to play, so I respect his decision to sit me down for the second half."

Townes Solid

Arkansas may have lost by 31 points, but center Darian Townes wasn't completely down Sunday. The senior scored 15 points and grabbed 9 rebounds in his final game.

Townes, an Alexandria, Va., native, finished his career by reaching double digit points in 14 of his final 15 games against the Tar Heels.

He also moved into 19th place on the school's career scoring list (1,316 points), passing Dean Tolson.

"They have a lot of good bigs," Townes said about the Tar Heels. "They double-teamed me real well. I kind of beat it every time. This was a great opportunity for us to get a chance to play against a No. 1 team, North Carolina. Just going out there, I think we played our best basketball. We just didn't get off to a good start."

Home Game

The Tar Heels, who won in front of an enormous contingent of UNC fans, improved to 23-1 in NCAA Tournament games played in North Carolina.

North Carolina's campus in Chapel Hill is located no more than 30 minutes from Raleigh. The home-court edge was a hot topic all week, but Pelphrey doesn't believe it had anything to do with North Carolina's big win Sunday.

"I didn't think the environment kept us from playing well," Pelphrey said. "North Carolina was our problem."

The loss dropped Arkansas to 6-2 in NCAA Tournament games in North Carolina. Arkansas, of course, won the 1994 national title in Charlotte.

Peel It Up

North Carolina coach Roy Williams had one complaint after Sunday's game. It was with the NCAA.

Williams was vocal about his displeasure with the round NCAA decals that cover the court during tournament games. North Carolina forward Tyler Hansbrough slipped on the spot in the second half, which prompted a postgame lecture from Williams.

"Let's stop putting those stupid logos on the floor where kids slip and slide around," Wiliams said. "Somebody is going to get hurt and I've said that for years and years and years. And every coach here at this site said this is a mistake to have that."

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