Defense Lets Hogs Down

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas coach John Pelphrey already had watched a replay of his team's 98-91 overtime loss to Ole Miss by the time he met with reporters Thursday morning.

The Razorbacks allowed 49 points in the second half of Wednesday's loss, their 13th in 15 SEC contests, providing Pelphrey with fodder for critiquing. Upon further inspection, those defensive deficiencies bothered Pelphrey the most.

"We didn't get off to a good defensive start in the second half," Pelphrey said. "Ole Miss came out very aggressive and got into a rhythm, and Terrico White obviously had a huge second half."

The Rebels were able to easily maneuver through and shoot over Arkansas, handing Pelphrey his first loss in 22 Arkansas games when his teams score 80 points or more. Ole Miss shot 63.3 percent in Wednesday's second half and used the first 6 minutes, 15 seconds to outscore the Hogs 19-9 and take the lead.

Arkansas' failure to produce stops frustrated freshman point guard Courtney Fortson.

"Of course it's tough (to lose this way), being the last time to play in this building this year," Fortson said. "We just have to bounce back."

Pelphrey said Ole Miss' final possession in regulation pretty much defined Arkansas' struggles this SEC season. With the Rebels trailing 84-82, White beat three Arkansas defenders off the dribble before nailing a leaning bank shot.

"All of our breakdowns were hard to overcome, but we still had a chance to stop them," Pelphrey said. "And Terrico White dribbles all over the floor there and finds a way to get to the basket."



Britt's Best

Sophomore guard Marcus Britt started for the second straight contest in place of junior guard Stefan Welsh and produced his second-best effort this season. Britt finished with eight points, a career-high five assists and two steals in a career-high 27 minutes.

Britt connected on two of his three 3-point attempts; his last 3 pulled Arkansas within 80-76.

"I thought he played very well," Pelphrey said. "I thought he made some big, big baskets."



Hog Honored

Junior forward Michael Washington picked up an award Thursday, being named second-team NABC All-District 21. Washington, who averages 15.8 points and 9.6 rebounds, was joined on the second team by Kentucky's Patrick Patterson, LSU's Tasmin Mitchell, Mississippi State's Jarvis Varnado and Ole Miss' David Huertas.

The following players made the first team: Florida's Nick Calathes, Kentucky's Jodie Meeks, South Carolina's Devan Downey, LSU's Marcus Thornton and Tennessee's Tyler Smith.



Tip-Ins

Freshman guard Rotnei Clarke has now made 76 of his 194 attempts from 3-point range (39.2 percent) this season, the most makes since Jannero Pargo's 95 in 2002. ... Arkansas has notched its best consecutive contests this season in regards to assists and miscues. The Hogs had 19 assists and 11 turnovers Sunday against Georgia and 19 assists and 10 turnovers Wednesday against Ole Miss.



Sunday's Ticket

Arkansas at Vanderbilt

When: 1:05 p.m.

Where: Memorial Gymnasium, Nashville, Tenn.

TV: KHOG (Cox channel 7, Cox HD channel 707).

Radio: KEZA-FM 107.9, KKEG-FM 92.1, KUOA-AM 1290, FM 97.9, 105.3.

Records: Arkansas, 14-14, 2-13 Southeastern Conference; Vanderbilt Commodores, 18-11, 7-8.

Coaches: Arkansas, John Pelphrey (second season); Vanderbilt, Kevin Stallings (10th season).

Series: Arkansas leads 15-7 (Vanderbilt leads 6-3 in Nashville).

Last Meeting: Arkansas beat Vanderbilt 81-75 on March 14 in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament in Atlanta.

Hawgs Daily Top Stories