Six Seniors Go Out With Home Victory Over Auburn
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) -Patrick Beverley scored 27 points, upstaging his six senior teammates a bit in Arkansas’ 77-64 win over Auburn on Saturday night.
Beverley, a sophomore, went 9-of-11 from the field and made all six of his 3-point attempts in the Razorbacks’ home finale. Arkansas (20-10, 9-7 Southeastern Conference) led by 19 at halftime, and after the Tigers cut the margin to 10, Beverley made a big 3-pointer with under six minutes remaining in the game.
Before the opening tip, Arkansas honored its six seniors, all of whom play regularly. Coach John Pelphrey started five of them, meaning Beverley was a reserve for only the second time this season.
Beverley didn’t seem bothered. He scored 14 points in the first half without missing a shot.
Pelphrey earned his 100th career victory. He is in his first season at Arkansas after five at South Alabama. Pelphrey’s 20 wins are the most by a first-year Arkansas coach.
Auburn (14-15, 4-12) finished last in the SEC West and will play No. 16 Vanderbilt in the first round of the conference tournament Thursday. Arkansas has a bye and faces the winner of that game Friday at 2:15 (central).
Senior Darian Townes had 12 points and a career-high 14 rebounds for the Razorbacks, and his classmates had their share of highlights too.
Senior Sonny Weems began the game with an alley-oop pass to senior center Steven Hill for a 2-0 lead. Senior Vincent Hunter, a 6-foot-10 forward not known for his dribbling ability, went right by his man for a dunk along the baseline in the second half.
The Razorbacks’ struggles on the road have them on the NCAA tournament bubble, but they’ve gone 56-8 at home over the last four seasons, including 15-1 in 2007-08.
Arkansas went 30-of-58 from 3-point range in its final three home games this season, including 10-of-19 Saturday.
Arkansas finished the first half ahead 45-26 after shooting 8-of-14 from 3-point range. Townes had eight points and 11 rebounds at halftime.
Auburn’s Frank Tolbert finished the game with 17 points.