Fortson Bounces Back

OXFORD, Miss. — Arkansas point guard Courtney Fortson has spent most of the season creating scoring opportunities for his teammates.

On Wednesday night, it was pretty clear the freshman had to do most of the scoring himself.

Fortson was one of few bright spots in Arkansas' 74-65 loss at Ole Miss. He scored a game-high 24 points on 10 of 19 shooting, rebounding from his woeful performance against Mississippi State.

"I thought he played really, really hard," Arkansas coach John Pelphrey said. "You knew he was going to come back out with a very strong effort tonight after our home opener when we didn't play very well. I knew he was going to come back out. He made some big-time, tough shots."

Fortson, who was limited to five points on 2 of 13 shooting against the Bulldogs, carried the Razorbacks on a night when most of the team was clanking shots off the rim.

Fortson scored six of the team's first eight points. He made his first 3-pointer in four games later in the half. And he scored seven points during an 11-0 spurt that cut Arkansas' deficit to 10 points late in the first half.

Fortson capped the run by stealing the ball from Ole Miss point guard Will Bogan at midcourt. He dunked it on the other end to make it 32-22.

"I just saw openings in the defense and I took it," Fortson said.

Fortson led the SEC in assists (6.9) entering Wednesday's game, but finished with only two against the Rebels. With the rest of the team struggling, he continued to take matters into his own hands to start the second half.

Fortson scored four straight points to quickly help the Razorbacks cut the deficit to 34-28.

But Ole Miss answered by scoring six straight points. Arkansas couldn't crawl any closer.

"We felt pretty confident we were going to come back," Fortson said. "But basketball is a game of runs and they went on their run."

In the end, Fortson was one of only three Razorbacks to shoot better than 50 percent from the floor Wednesday. He was 10 of 19 (52.6 percent) from the floor while the rest of the Razorbacks were a combined 13 of 34 (38.2).

"Outside of him making those spectacular plays, we struggled to get anything else," Pelphrey said.

Said Fortson: "I feel better with my performance. But I don't feel as good because we didn't win."

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