Tennessee squandered a 9-point lead in the final four minutes at Arkansas on Saturday, falling to the Razorbacks 95-93 in overtime.
Four Vols players fouled out, most notably star sophomore power forward Grant Williams, who picked up his fifth foul in the midst of Arkansas’ pivotal 12-2 run down the stretch that led to overtime at Bud Walton Arena.
Tennessee point guard Jordan Bone led the No. 19-ranked Vols with 21 points on 7-of-16 shooting and had 6 rebounds, 5 assists and just 1 turnover.
Tennessee, however, had no answer for the Arkansas backcourt of Daryl Macon and Jaylen Barford, who posted career-high scoring totals with 33 and 28 points, respectively.
The Vols had a 70-61 lead with 3:53 left after a pair of Admiral Schofield free throws, but costly turnovers and a porous defense in the closing moments doomed Tennessee.
The Vols dropped to 9-3 with the loss while the Razorbacks improved to 11-2, improving to 8-0 at home this season. It’s Arkansas sixth straight win in the series with Tennessee, and fourth in a row in Fayetteville since 2009, dating back to a Bruce Pearl-coached Vols team winning there.
The Razorbacks led for only 27 seconds of regulation, but most importantly, came from behind to force overtime.
Missing Grant Williams
Williams scored 12 points and had 6 rebounds before fouling out with 2:10 left in regulation and Tennessee holding a 72-68 lead.
Williams led the Vols in the plus-minus stat, as Tennessee outscored Arkansas by 11 points in the game when he was on the floor.
“When Grant picked up his fifth foul, we didn’t have an inside attack,” Vols radio analyst Bert Bertelkamp noted.
Indeed, Kyle Alexander’s tip-in with 30 seconds left in overtime was the only basket in the paint produced by the Vols in the final 7 1/2 minutes of play.
Jordan Bone’s big day
Tennessee out-cored Arkansas by 10 points with Bone running the point, as he led the way with 21 points.
“Jordan Bone had a great game and played like an All-SEC Player,” Bertelkamp said during the VolNetwork broadcast. “All day today, he played outstanding.”
That didn’t make the Nashville product feel any better about the defeat.
“We had control of the game for 36 or 37 minutes, but just like North Carolina, we lost the game in the last two or three minutes,” Bone said. “We didn’t execute the way we wanted to down the stretch, and they made us pay.”
Williams was the first of four Tennessee players to foul out, with Admiral Schofield, Kyle Alexander and Jordan Bowden following suit.
Arkansas made 12 of 17 free throws in the second half and 21 of 33 in the game, while the Vols were 11 of 15 from the line in the second half and 18 of 26 in the game.