Elijah Harkless scored a season-high 21 points to help Oklahoma upset No. 12 Arkansas 88-66 on Saturday at Tulsa, Okla.
It was the first loss of the season for the Razorbacks (9-1), who have one more nonconference game remaining before jumping into SEC play on Dec. 21. The Sooners defeated their second ranked SEC team this month after knocking off No. 14 Florida 74-67 on Dec. 1.
Davonte Davis led the Razorbacks with 26 points, though the rest of the team was just 12 of 40 from the floor.
The Sooners led the entire way, though there was little comfort until the end, and became the first team to score more than 80 points against the Razorbacks this season.
Arkansas cut what had been a 15-point deficit to 57-54 midway through the second half by attacking the basket and getting to the free-throw line repeatedly. In a 19-7 run over seven minutes, 10 of the Razorbacks’ points came at the free-throw line and four more came on dunks.
The Sooners finally put the game away, scoring 17 consecutive points amid a larger a 25-3 run overall to take an 86-60 lead with 1:09 remaining.
With 3:30 left and his team trailing by 15, Arkansas coach Eric Musselman’s frustration boiled over after Oklahoma’s Tanner Groves and Arkansas’ Au’Diese Toney battled for the ball underneath the basket.
Arguing for a foul on Groves, Musselman was given a technical, followed quickly by another to earn him an ejection.
Harkless got the Sooners (8-2) going early, scoring eight in an opening 13-0 run that put Oklahoma ahead for what proved to be for good.
The Sooners’ lead stretched as high as 15 in the first half before Arkansas closed the half with a 13-4 run to trim the deficit to 39-33 by the break.
It was Harkless’ most points in two seasons with Oklahoma after transferring from Cal State Northridge. Harkless also added a season-high 11 rebounds. Groves added 16 for the Sooners.
The Razorbacks shot a season-low 34.4 percent from the field, including just 9 of 33 (27.3 percent) in the second half.
Arkansas leading scorer JD Notae was just 3 of 14 from the field and 2 of 7 from beyond the arc, scoring 13 points.
–Field Level Media