FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (U of A) - After enduring a game-tying shot in the final seconds of regulation for the second straight game, the Arkansas men's basketball team earned a bit of redemption on Tuesday night as sophomore Michael Qualls's put-back dunk with 0.2 seconds left in overtime gave the Razorbacks a 87-85 win over No. 13/12 Kentucky and sent a crowd of 18,886 fans into hysteria at Bud Walton Arena.
Arkansas held an 85-82 heading into the final seconds of overtime after Qualls calmly sank a pair of free throws that pushed the advantage to a full possession.
Needing a three to extend the game into a second overtime, Kentucky's James Young seemed to do just that as his three with nine seconds left tied the game at 85-85.
With no timeouts, junior Rashad Madden, who has led the team in scoring in all three SEC contests, brought the ball up court and worked his way to the right wing where his three-pointer was off the mark, but a streaking Qualls crashed from the left baseline to beat the buzzer with his team-leading 19th dunk of the season.
One game removed from having its 23-game home win streak snapped in overtime, Arkansas faced its second straight ranked opponent, improving to 12-4 on the season, while Kentucky suffered its first loss in SEC action and now stands at 12-4 overall and 2-1 in the league.
Play Of The Game
No stranger to #SCtop10, sophomore Michael Qualls' (@Mr_WalkOnAir) dunk with 0.2 seconds left provided the game-winning points and a highlight that instantly captured the nation. Qualls's dunk debuted on SportsCenter at No. 1, giving him four top 10 plays this year.
Keys To The Contest
The Razorbacks' #Fastest40 style of play provided the biggest different in the game, as it forced Kentucky into 17 turnovers that led to 21 Arkansas points. On the flipside, Arkansas was able to play its track meet-style of play and commit a season-low six turnovers. Aside from the 21-7 edge in points off turnovers, the result was 13 more field goal attempts for the Razorbacks.
Facing an aggressive and athletic Kentucky side that had shot 500 free throws entering the night compared to just 286 by its opponents, the Razorbacks got to the line 41 times in a physical game that featured 60 fouls. The Wildcats shot 40 free throws, marking just the second time this season the opposition has been to the line more times. Arkansas made 29-of-41 at the charity stripe compared to a 26-of-40 night for Kentucky.
• Arkansas improved to 34-22 vs. ranked teams at Bud Walton Arena.
• Arkansas has taken two in a row from Kentucky, the first win streak vs. the Wildcats since 2000-01, a span of 13 games.
• It marked the fourth time Arkansas and Kentucky have gone to overtime in 35 meetings, with the Razorbacks winning the last two both at Bud Walton Arena.
• First time since the 1995 NCAA Tournament Arkansas has played back-to-back overtime games.
• The two teams were separated by more than five points for just three of the 45 minutes.
• Arkansas trailed for 5:59 on the night and has now trailed for just 42:44 out of 450 minutes played this season at Bud Walton Arena.
• Improved to 10-1 at home this season.
• Madden (@RKMadden00) and Qualls tied for the team lead with 18 points.
• Madden has now reached double figures in 11 of the last 13 games and has led Arkansas in scoring in all three SEC contests.
• Over the three SEC games, Madden has 10 three-pointers compared to making just seven over 31 games in 2012-13.
• Qualls has now reached double figures a team-best 14 times and brought his dunk total to 19.
• Qualls accounted for six of the team's 13 points in overtime.
• Freshman Bobby Portis (@BPortisTime) finished with his third double-double of the year with 11 points and 10 rebounds, including four offensive.
• Redshirt junior Alandise Harris' (@AlandiseHarris) sixth double figure effort off the bench this season with 12 points, including a critical three-point play in the final seconds of regulation.
• The Arkansas bench has provided a double figure scorer in 14 of 16 games and has out-scored the opposition on 13 occasions.
Coach Anderson Postgame Sound
"Well, you guys got a chance to see it. It was a heck of a ball game, just two teams going toe-to-toe with each other. I thought it was two teams that were defensively engaged and really getting after one another. Hats off to our guys. Coming off the Florida loss, that was a tough loss. Especially when we got into overtime, sometimes guys can have flashbacks. To our guys' credit, I thought they showed some resilience. They were really wanted the game and they found a way to do it on the defensive side of the ball."
• Committed a season-low six turnovers, while forcing Kentucky into 17 miscues that lead to 21-7 edge in points off turnovers.
• Marked the 10th time this season Arkansas has scored 20+ off turnovers.
• Won the turnover battle in 19 of the last 20 games, and 68 of 80 under head coach Mike Anderson.
• Have won the turnover battle by double figures five times this season.
• Came away with 10 steals, improving to 4-0 this season when gathering double-digit thefts.
@RazorbackMBB Postgame Tweetables (140 Characters Or Less)
? ICYMI: @Mr_WALKONAIR was #1 on @ESPN's #SCtop10 last night with this buzzer beater dunk #FayettevilleFlush #WeHogs http://tinyurl.com/k92m7wg
? Should @Mr_WALKONAIR become #MrSCtop10?? He's made four appearances this season - here's the buzzer beater > http://tinyurl.com/k92m7wg
Social Media Recap
Did you get in on the in-game conversation through Twitter at @RazorbackMBB during tonight's heart-stopping 87-85 overtime win? Checkout the social media recap from tonight's game and join in next time by mentioning @RazorbackMBB or utilizing the hashtag #Fastest40. Join the 17,000+ by following @RazorbackMBB on Twitter and don't forget about Facebook (/RazorbackMBB) and Instagram (@Razorback_MBB).
Social Media Recap > http://tinyurl.com/l297zor
Arkansas will play the first of its two straight SEC road games on Saturday when it travels to Athens, Ga. to face Georgia (8-7, 2-1) at Stegeman Coliseum. Tip is slated for 12:30 p.m. on SEC TV.