Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Arkansas Loses Shooting Touch, Falls to Alabama

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Arkansas Loses Shooting Touch, Falls to Alabama

Article excerpt

Arkansas' shooting was consistent. Bad, but consistent: 12 for 34 in the first half, 13 for 36 in the second.

Corliss Williamson, a 59 percent shooter from the field, made three of nine in the first half and four of nine in the second. Scotty Thurman, a 50 percent shooter, was three for eight in each half.

And nobody picked up the slack for the ninth-ranked Razorbacks on Tuesday night, so the result was predictable, but surprising nonetheless: Alabama 88, Arkansas 70 in Fayetteville.

The loss was the first for Arkansas (15-4, 4-3 Southeastern Conference) in Walton Arena, their home the past two seasons, and it ended a home winning streak at 26 games.

The game was the defending national champion's worst home loss since a 74-52 defeat to Missouri in 1967-68.

Tuesday night also saw the nation's longest home winning streak snapped as Michigan beat Indiana 65-52. The Hoosiers had won 50 in a row at home, the last loss to Iowa on Feb. 21, 1991.

Top-ranked Massachusetts now has the nation's longest home winning streak at 39 games.

Arkansas' shooting woes weren't limited to the stars. Clint McDaniel was one for six; Alex Dillard was one for five; and Dwight Stewart was three for 11.

"It was one of those nights, we just couldn't get them to fall," Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson said. "Guys who needed to shoot the ball in the hole for us didn't."

For Alabama (13-4, 4-2), it was just the opposite. Jamal Faulkner was eight for nine in the first half and Eric Washington hit seven of nine in the second half. Faulkner scored 16 points in the first half as Alabama built a 42-33 lead and Washington's outburst included a four-for-five effort from 3-point range and 19 points in the second half. Overall, the Crimson Tide were 33 for 62 from the field.

"Any time you shoot the ball on the road like they shot it, you're going to win," Richardson said.

Washington missed five of six shots in the first half before his strong performance in the second.

"I told him to go in and keep shooting and he would break out of it," Alabama coach David Hobbs said.

"He was hitting them from places I didn't think he would even take them, and at times when I didn't even think he would attempt them," Richardson said.

Arkansas' last lead was 13-11, and the last of six ties was at 19-19 when Marvin Orange's driving layup started an 11-0 Alabama run.

Richardson was hit with a technical as the half ended, and that enabled Alabama to start the second half with Washington's free throw and 3-pointer.

Arkansas' only run - 8-0 - included two baskets each by Thurman and Williamson and narrowed the Alabama lead to 54-46.

It was 56-48 before Davor Rimac forced a pass and Washington got loose for a fast-break basket and a 10-point lead. He scored again after an Arkansas turnover, then hit a 3-pointer for a 15-point lead after Thurman committed an offensive foul. …

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