Tigers Fall In Double Overtime at Arkansas

The Auburn basketball team lost a hard-fought road game to drop to 2-1 in SEC play.

Fayetteville, Ark.--Auburn rallied to send the game into a first overtime and rallied a second time to force another overtime, but Arkansas held on for an 88-80 SEC basketball victory on Wednesday night at Bud Walton Arena.

The Tigers suffered their first loss in SEC play and dropped to 2-1 in the league despite 26 points and nine rebounds from senior Frankie Sullivan. The loss dropped Auburn's overall record to 8-8.

Auburn trailed by as many as 11 points in the first half before bouncing back to tie the contest at 39-39 early in the second period on one of five made treys by Sullivan.

The Tigers built a six-point lead with 8:20 left on a fastbreak stuff by Rob Chubb, but fell behind by three points in the closing minute. However, Allen Payne's three-pointer from the wing with 5.2 seconds left tied the game at 67-67 at the end of regulation.

Arkansas moved ahead 74-70 with 1:40 left in the overtime on a basket by Marshawn Powell, who scored 28 points and added 11 rebounds. Auburn's Noel Johnson then cut the lead to one with a trey at the 1:25 mark.

Sullivan put the Tigers on top with a runner with 52.3 seconds to play, but the only point scored the rest of the period was a free throw by Mardracus Wade to send the game into a second overtime at 75-75.

With Payne and Chubb fouling out in the second overtime period the Razorbacks pulled away. A three-pointer by B.J. Young stretched the lead to 84-78 with 26.7 seconds left, ending the Tigers' chance of another comeback.

"It wasn't the ideal game for us, but we kept throwing punches," Auburn coach Tony Barbee said.

"We gave ourselves a chance," he added. "I am proud of the way the guys fought. We have got to let this one go and move on."

The Tigers shot 50 percent from the field to give themselves a chance to win, but Barbee said a key statistic was 19 turnovers for the Tigers while the Razorbacks turned the ball over just eight times. That led to five more field goal attempts by the home team, another key statistic the coach said.

Auburn hit 31-62 field goals, 11-25 threes and just 7-17 free throws. Arkansas made 30-67 field goals for 44.8 percent and hit 8-25 treys plus 20-33 free throws.

Josh Wallace grabs a loose ball vs. the Razorbacks.

The Tigers out-rebounded Arkansas 39-36, but Barbee said he was hoping for a larger margin because the teams who had defeated the Razorbacks this year won the battle on the boards by a significant amount.

Chubb scored 12 points for the Tigers and pulled in 11 rebounds. Josh Wallace dished out nine assists. Payne and Noel Johnson finished with nine points apiece.

Young scored 22 for the Razorbacks, who improved to 2-1 in the league and 11-4 overall. Wade chipped in with a dozen points.

"I am proud of the way guys are working and fighting, but like I said our veteran players, on the road in conference play--the juniors and seniors--have got to be the ones that make the difference," Barbee said. "When it mattered, we faltered a little bit in that department."

Starting Lineup: The Tigers stayed with their three-guard lineup featuring Sullivan, Wallace and Shaquille Johnson along with center Chubb and forward Payne.

Halftime Numbers: Auburn hit 11-24 field goals for 45.8 percent while 2-9 threes and 3-4 free throws. The Razorbacks made14-34 field goals for 41.2 percent and hit 3-10 threes plus 3-6 free throws. Shaquille Johnson and Asauhn Dixon-Tatum led the Tigers in scoring at halftime with six points apiece.

Arkansas Streak: For the Razorbacks it was their fifth consecutive victory in games vs. the Tigers.

Lots Of Minutes: Sullivan played 48 minutes for the Tigers while Wallace was on the floor for 47 minutes on Wednesday night.

Up Next: The Tigers will take on Kentucky , the 2012 national champion, on Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Auburn Arena. The game is a sellout.

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