FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Sophomore BJ Young scored 25 points for the University of Arkansas basketball team on Friday night against No. 6/5 Syracuse in a nine-point loss, 91-82, at Bud Walton Arena in front of a season high 19,259 fans.
Arkansas (3-3) played in front of its largest home crowd since the 2009 season which included more than 4,000 students.
“It was an awesome environment tonight with the White Out,” head coach Mike Anderson said. “We are certainly happy with our fans. Over 19,000 people were treated to a tremendous game. We just came out on the short end.”
Young finished the game with 25 points off 10-of-23 shooting to lead Arkansas on the court. Junior Marshawn Powell also finished with a double-digit scoring game with 19 points. Powell and junior Coty Clarke would both lead Arkansas with seven rebounds each.
“Our guys gave maximum effort tonight,” Anderson said. “It was a great ball game and a great atmosphere. I’m proud of our guys. There was no quit in them. They’re starting to believe.”
To start the game the Razorbacks played toe-to-toe with the Orange, going on a 6-0 run early to make the score 6-2 at the 18:09 mark in the first. Three different Razorbacks would contribute to the run as sophomore Hunter Mickelson took the first, followed by Young and sophomore Rashad Madden.
The Orange would recover from the early Razorback scoring and go up by as many as 15 in the first, but the Hogs would fight back thanks to Syracuse turnovers and the rowdy Bud Walton Arena fans.
With 7:21 left in the first Arkansas began to chip away at the then-14 point Syracuse lead beginning with a defensive rebound by Powell and a layup by Young. Seconds later the Razorbacks would capitalize off a steal by Coty Clarke with another layup by Young, who would draw a foul on the play and sink his extra shot for a three-point basket. Young’s 5-0 run would begin to close the gap to 33-24 and cut the Syracuse lead to single digits.
However, Young and the Razorbacks weren’t done yet as he would score one point off another foul and sink a three-pointer with 5:30 remaining in the first to send the crowd to its feet. That would close out a 9-0 Arkansas run, which was the largest of the game at that point, and brought the Razorbacks within five, 33-28.
With 1:29 remaining the Razorbacks would catch a breakaway as Young brought the crowd to its feet after a momentous dunk to bring the Razorbacks within four. Arkansas would close the half down by five, 43-38.
Leading Arkansas on the floor in the first was Young who went 7-of-14 from the floor for 19 points. Powell led the Razorbacks in rebounding with six and Madden accumulated two assists in the first.
In the second half, Powell would head to the line two consecutive possessions, connecting on 3-of-4 of his shots, to bring Arkansas within two, 43-41. The comeback would end there for now, as the Hogs would commit two fouls and four turnovers and allow a 14-1 run by the Orange putting the score at 57-42. Arkansas would respond by holding Syracuse scoreless over 1:51 and racking up 10 points to close the gap to five. Syracuse would successfully hold off any Arkansas run for the remainder of the game.
Arkansas would make another run late in the game beginning with a layup by Young with 1:59 on the clock. Clarke would steal the ball on Syracuse’s next possession and take it down the court for two, drawing a foul to make it three and bringing the Razorbacks within seven, 84-77.
The Razorbacks return to the court on Tuesday night for a border showdown with the Oklahoma Sooners.