Davonte Davis’ pull-up jumper with 2.9 seconds left helped the Arkansas Razorbacks complete a 72-70 comeback win over Oral Roberts in a South Region semifinal of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday night in Indianapolis.
The Golden Eagles had one last chance when leading scorer Max Abmas dribbled up the court and heaved a 3-pointer at the buzzer. The shot, however, bounced off the rim to end Oral Roberts’ Cinderella NCAA Tournament run.
Third-seeded Arkansas (25-6) advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time since 1995 when they were the national runner-up a year after winning the school’s lone national championship. The Razorbacks will take on top-seed Baylor (25-2) in the South Region final on Monday night.
Oral Roberts (18-11), the second-ever No. 15 seed to advance to the Sweet 16, came up just short of becoming the first such seeded team to reach the Elite Eight.
Davis finished with 16 points and eight rebounds as Arkansas recorded its 10th comeback from a double-digit deficit this season. The Razorbacks trailed by 12 with 15:14 left in the second half.
Abmas finished with a game-high 25 points on 8-of-19 shooting.
Jalen Tate led Arkansas with 22 points on 9-of-17 shooting and gave the Razorbacks a 70-69 lead with 1:34 to go. After Oral Roberts’ Francis Lacis turned the ball over, the Golden Eagles regained possession and Lacis made it to the foul line after drawing a foul with 31.5 seconds left from Arkansas forward Moses Moody. Lacis made 1-of-2 free throws to tie the game.
The Razorbacks did not call timeout and Tate attacked the basket, connecting on his game-tying shot.
Oral Roberts’ frontcourt of Carlos Jurgens (13 points) and Lacis (11 points) each got into foul trouble over the final nine minutes of the game. The Golden Eagles also struggled on the boards, as they did in their first meeting with Arkansas during the regular season.
After being outrebounded 58-32 in an 87-76 loss in Fayetteville on Dec. 20, Arkansas finished with a 46-35 edge on Saturday. The Razorbacks outscored the Golden Eagles 42-30 in the paint.
Kevin Obanor finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds, but Justin Smith countered for Arkansas with 12 points and 14 rebounds. Moody finished with 14 points and six rebounds.
–Field Level Media