Madden’s 24 points lift Arkansas over Auburn 86-67
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) Ky Madden scored a career-high 24 points as Arkansas snapped a two-game losing streak with an 86-67 win over struggling Auburn on Saturday night.
Madden had 19 points in the second half for the Razorbacks (13-6, 2-4 SEC), who have now won 25 of their last 26 games at home. Bobby Portis added 18 points, 14 in the first half, and Fred Gulley finished with 10.
Arkansas was 17 of 26 (65.4 percent) from the field in the second half after struggling from the field in the first, finishing 28 of 61 (45.9 percent) overall.
Chris Denson led the Tigers (8-9, 0-6), who have now lost six games in a row, with 18 points. KT Harrell added 17 points, while Tahj Shamsid-Deen had 12.
Auburn has lost 16 straight conference games.
Arkansas led by as many as 15 points in the first half, despite hitting just 11 of 35 (31.4 percent) shots.
The Razorbacks found their touch in the second half, with Madden once again providing the boost. The junior, who entered the season with a career scoring average of 6.8 points per game, has now scored in double figures in seven straight games.
His 24 points top his previous career best of 23, which came in an overtime loss to No. 6 Florida on Jan. 11. Madden didn’t miss a shot in the second half, hitting 4 of 4 from the field – including a pair of 3-pointers – and 9 of 9 free throws.
The junior finished 6 of 10 from the field, including 3 of 5 on 3-pointers.
The Tigers stayed in the game for much of the second half, trailing 66-58 after a 3-pointer by Harrell.
Arkansas, however, ended the game on a 20-9 run while Auburn finished 21 of 58 (36.2 percent) from the field.
Arkansas had lost four of five games entering Saturday, including back-to-back road losses after a late setback at Tennessee on Wednesday.
The Razorbacks’ woes continued early against Auburn, which hasn’t won an SEC game since a 49-37 win over Alabama on Feb. 6, 2013.
Despite missing their first eight shots, the Tigers trailed only 14-13 in the early going – thanks in part to the similar shooting woes of Arkansas. The Razorbacks hit just three of their first 13 shots and 11 of 35 (31.4 percent), with the two teams combining to shoot 18 of 62 (29 percent) in the half.
Portis followed the early struggles with exactly the spark Arkansas needed, scoring five straight points to put the Razorbacks up 19-13. The points were the beginning of a 17-3 run for Arkansas, which took its largest lead of the first half at 31-16 after a pair of free throws by Moses Kingsley.
The Razorbacks, the highest-scoring team in the SEC at 82.8 per game, outscored the Tigers 18-4 on the fast break.