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January 27, 2007

Struggling Tide falls 63-57 to Arkansas

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -Patrick Beverley scored 19 points and Arkansas dominated No. 12 Alabama for 30 minutes before hanging on to win 63-57 Saturday.

The Razorbacks (14-7, 3-4 Southeastern Conference) outmuscled Alabama in the paint as 7-footer Steven Hill pulled down 16 rebounds. Arkansas held a seemingly insurmountable 51-27 lead with 10:50 to play when the Crimson Tide started its rally and outscored the Razorbacks 30-12 the rest of the way.

Alabama (15-5, 2-4) was led by Richard Hendrix, who had 28 points and 11 rebounds and sparked the comeback with several thunderous jams. But Hendrix also might have stalled the spurt with a foul in the final minute.

The Crimson Tide had cut the lead to five with 59 seconds to play when Hendrix was called for an intentional foul that stopped Arkansas' Charles Thomas from what appeared to an easy dunk. Thomas had to leave the game with an apparent shoulder injury and Stefan Welsh hit one of two free throws. The play seemed to return the momentum to Arkansas, and the Razorbacks held on.

Arkansas coach Stan Heath said Thomas' injury did not appear to be serious.

The Razorbacks got 16 points from Sonny Weems, while Jermareo Davidson had 12 for Alabama.

The loss was the fourth in six games for the Crimson Tide since it started conference play. It also broke a 17-game home winning streak and gave Alabama its first home loss this season.

Arkansas had lost four of five overall.

Alabama continued its recent trend of dismal starts as the Razorbacks jumped out to a 10-0 lead and went ahead 31-18 at halftime. The start was similar to the first meeting between the teams three weeks ago when Arkansas raced to a 14-0 lead and cruised to an 88-61 win in Fayetteville.

The Crimson Tide shot just 25 percent in the first half and hit one of eight 3-point attempts.

On most possessions, Alabama was getting only one shot as Hill controlled the paint.

Arkansas expanded its lead to 25 early in the second half but couldn't stop Hendrix as he scored 16 points in the final 10 minutes. The Razorbacks made only one field goal in the final 11 minutes.

For more coverage of Alabama, visit BamaOnLine.com; for more on Arkansas, visit HawgSports.com.

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