FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (ArkansasRazorbacks.com) – Led by a career-high 24 points from junior Rashad Madden and a near double-double by freshman Bobby Portis that featured 18 points, the Arkansas men's basketball team picked up a wire-to-wire 86-67 SEC win over Auburn on Saturday at Bud Walton Arena.
Fueled by Portis, who made his presence felt in the first half with 14 points and six rebounds, Arkansas climbed out of its offensive struggles behind the two-time SEC Freshman of the Week as it embarked on a 17-3 run that absorbed 5:41 off the clock and ended in a 31-16 advantage for the home team. Portis had 10 points during the run, accounting for the first five and the last five.
Owning a 49-38 lead with 14:46 left in the second half after eight straight points from redshirt senior Fred Gulley III, Madden took the game over, scoring 19 of Arkansas' final 37 points. Madden finished the second half with a perfect shooting clip, hitting 4-of-4 from the field, both three-pointers and 9-of-9 at the free throw line.
Portis finished a rebound shy of his fourth double-double of the year, leading the team for the eighth time this year on the boards with nine rebounds to go along with his 18 points. Madden's 24 points bested his career-high he set on Jan. 11, when he scored 23 against Florida.
Key To The Contest
Led by three players with five assists, Arkansas passed out 21 helpers on its 28 made field goals. During the second half in which the Razorbacks made 17-of-26 from the field and assisted on 14 of those made shots. Senior Coty Clarke, Madden and sophomore Michael Qualls all tied for the team lead with five assists.
➢ The win is the 250th of Coach Anderson's career.
➢ Arkansas passed out 20+ assists for the fifth time this season (5-0).
➢ Coach Anderson-led teams are now 80-1 when passing out 20+ assists.
➢ Arkansas has won 25 of the last 26 games at Bud Walton Arena and is 11-1 this season.
➢ The Razorbacks have led from start-to-finish in six games at BWA.
➢ Arkansas has trailed for 42:44 at home over 490 minutes (12 games) at home.
➢ Arkansas shot 65 percent (17-26) in the second half.
➢ The 50 second half points marked the eighth time Arkansas has scored 50+ points in a half.
➢ Madden's 24 points in the most by a Razorback this season.
➢ Madden has a team-high three 20-point games, including two in SEC play.
➢ Madden has finished in double figures in 14 of the last 16 games.
➢ Portis' 18 points are his most in SEC play.
➢ Arkansas is 6-2 when Portis leads the way in rebounding.
➢ Gulley scored in double figures for the third straight game, the longest streak in his career.
Coach Anderson Postgame Sound
"I was happy with how aggressive we were after a slow start on the offensive end. The guys did a nice job of moving the ball tonight and the result of that was good looks which led to a high second half shooting percentage. We also showed the blue collar style we need to be successful with the guys diving for loose balls and creating chaos."