No. 2 Texas Remains Unbeaten
Jan. 5, 2010
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP)--Dexter Pittman had 21 points and 10 rebounds, and No. 2 Texas remained unbeaten with a 96-85 victory over Arkansas on Tuesday night.
The Longhorns (14-0) made nine of 11 shots during a 20-9 run in breaking from a 48-48 halftime tie. Arkansas (7-8) cut the margin to two in the final minutes but couldn't pull even.
Rotnei Clarke scored 24 points for the Razorbacks.
Arkansas beat Texas 67-61 here last January, but the Razorbacks are only 9-23 since. The Longhorns were much more impressive offensively this time around, shooting 59 percent from the field.
Arkansas trailed 86-84 after Michael Washington scored on an offensive rebound, but Damion James made an open shot from near the free throw line, and Jordan Hamilton's dunk with just under a minute remaining made it a six-point game.
James finished with 20 points and nine rebounds.
Pittman started the second half with a dunk over Washington, then flexed both arms. The Longhorns slowly added to their lead until J'Covan Brown's 3-pointer put them ahead 68-57.
Arkansas was able to make a game of it, though.
Courtney Fortson, who returned to the starting lineup after a season-long suspension, had 19 points and seven assists for the Razorbacks, while Marshawn Powell added 18 points and Washington had 14.
Just like last year against the Longhorns, Arkansas coach John Pelphrey showed up in a red jacket, and the Razorbacks jumped out to a 35-29 lead. Fortson got right to work, attempting 12 shots in the first half, but it was Clarke who gave the Razorbacks a shot at an upset, scoring 16 points before halftime.
After winning its first 12 games by double figures, Texas has struggled a bit lately. The Longhorns beat Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 76-70 over the weekend before being pushed by Arkansas.
Texas opens Big 12 play Saturday against Colorado.
Washington, who considered going to the NBA after last season, was in foul trouble and played only 6 minutes in the first half. He got untracked toward the end but was still outplayed inside by Pittman.
The 6-foot-10, 290-pound Pittman helped the Longhorns to a 21-11 advantage in second-chance points.
Gary Johnson scored 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting for Texas.
Arkansas will have a lengthy layoff before starting Southeastern Conference play Jan. 14 at Mississippi State. The Razorbacks won only two SEC games last season.