Razorbacks fall at Georgia in overtime

ATHENS, Ga.— Playing its third straight overtime game for the first time in program history, the Arkansas men’s basketball team fell at Georgia, 66-61, on Saturday at Stegeman Coliseum.

Coming off back-to-back overtime games against nationally-ranked Florida and Kentucky, the Razorbacks had a chance to put an end to Georgia’s six-game home win streak, but junior Ky Madden’s three-pointer from the right wing with the scored tied 52-52 hit the back of the rim as time expired.

After erasing a five-point Arkansas lead in the final five minutes of regulation, Georgia scored the first seven points of overtime to take its largest lead of the game at 59-52. Arkansas couldn’t recover from just the second three-possession deficit by either team all game, as it was out-scored 14-9 in the extra frame

With Georgia leading 60-55 with a minute remaining, Donte’ Williams rejected two Arkansas shot attempts in the lane giving Georgia possession, which led to a pair of Charles Mann free throws to give the Bulldogs’ an insurmountable seven point lead and their ninth win of the season.

“We didn’t finish and that’s what you have to do to be successful in conference play.” Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson said. “I thought we did a good job of fighting off an off-night on the offensive end with our intensity on defense which put us in position to win a game on the road. Not converting in the paint and at the free throw line cost us.”

Georgia scored the extra period’s first seven points, but the Razorbacks fought back to within five points before Williams’ pair of blocks with a minute left.

“That’s a hard-fought SEC game,” Georgia head coach Mark Fox said. “We beat a really good Arkansas team, so we should feel like we accomplished something today because [Arkansas] is a really good basketball team. It was a hard-fought slugfest. That’s a game where both teams are really defending, and fortunately for us, we won the rebounding battle. But that was a dogfight, and we feel good about coming away with a win.”

With three minutes left in the second half, Brandon Morris hit a layup in the lane to give Georgia its first lead since late in the first half. Morris’ basket capped a 15-7 run for Georgia starting at the 16-minute mark in the first half, when Arkansas held a seven point lead—its largest of the game. After Arkansas tied the game with a minute left, both teams had a possession in the final minute of the game, but neither was able to end the game in regulation.

Marcus Thornton notched his first career double-double in the win, scoring 11 points and leading the team with 13 rebounds. Kenny Gaines led Georgia with 15 points.

Coty Clarke paced the Razorbacks offensively with 13 points. Today’s game was the third straight game in which the Razorbacks have gone to overtime.

Arkansas dips to 12-5 on the year and 1-3 in SEC action. Georgia, who snapped Missouri’s 26-game home win streak to open SEC play, stands at 9-7 overall and 3-1 in the league.