FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Bobby Portis scored a career-high 35 points in lifting Arkansas to a 65-58 win over Alabama on Wednesday night.
The 6-foot-10 forward also set the school record for most points in a game by a freshman, passing Scotty Thurman's mark of 34 points -- which was set during the 1992-93 season.Portis, a McDonald's All-American, scored 29 of the first 35 points for the Razorbacks (14-8, 3-6 Southeastern Conference), who narrowly avoided their third home loss in four games. He added nine rebounds and six blocks and finished 14 of 17 from the field.Rodney Cooper led the Crimson Tide (9-13, 3-6), which has now lost five of its last six games, with 22 points, while Trevor Relaford added 12.Alabama shot just 21 of 59 (35.6 percent) from the field, including 4 of 17 on 3-pointers.The Crimson Tide led 26-24 at halftime following a buzzer-beating jumper by Cooper to end the first half.Retin Obasohan extended Alabama's lead to 30-24 early in the second half with a layup, but Portis followed by continuing his hot play of the first half.The freshman scored Arkansas' first 11 points of the second half, making it 17 straight points overall, to put the Razorbacks up 35-33.Portis had 29 of Arkansas' 35 points, and he was 12-of-15 shooting at that point -- compared to just 1 of 25 for the rest of his teammates. He passed Thurman's mark with a pair of free throws with 18.6 seconds remaining, giving the Razorbacks a 63-58 lead and putting the game out of reach.Alabama's last lead came on a pair of free throw by Cooper to go up 46-45.Alandise Harris, who was suspended for Arkansas' last game, followed with a jumper to put the Razorbacks up for good. The points capped a run of eight straight points for the junior, who scored all of his points during the stretch.Both teams entered having lost four of their last five games, with the Crimson Tide's losses coming by an average of 15 points.Alabama still hasn't won away from home in nearly a year. Its last road win was a 52-45 win at Georgia, on Feb. 12, 2013, and it's 0-12 away from home since then.The Crimson Tide shot just 33.3 percent (9 of 27) in the first half, but Arkansas was worse -- connecting on just 9 of 33 shots (27.3 percent).Portis had eight of the nine first-half field goals for the Razorbacks. His 18 points in the half were one short of his previous career-best of 19 points, which came in a 104-71 win over Texas-San Antonio on Jan. 4.Minus Portis, the rest of Arkansas was 8 of 40 (20 percent) from the field.
Bobby Portis of Arkansas had 35 points and six blocks in Wednesday's 65-58 win over Alabama. Portis joins Alan Williams of UC Santa Barbara as the only D-I players with at least 35 points and five blocks in a game this season. Williams had 39 points and eight blocks against South Dakota State on Nov. 29.