Michael Qualls had 20 points and nine boards and Bobby Portis added 15 points, 13 boards and a pair of key assists down the stretch as No. 5 Arkansas survived a test from No. 12 Wofford, 56-53.
The game-winning bucket for the Hogs ended up being a three-point play from Alandise Harris with just over a minute left in the game, a play that didn’t appear to be all that much of a foul. It was one of three instances down the stretch where the Terriers seemingly were on the wrong end of a whistle, but that sure didn’t keep Wofford from having a chance down the stretch.
After getting a stop with 35 seconds left, Wofford bled the clock, getting two terrific good looks at a three to tie the game, one from star guard Karl Cochran and the other from from point guard Eric Garcia. Cochran’s three rimmed-out and Garcia’s was just short. Cochran finished the night just 4-for-17 from the floor and 2-for-12 from three, one of the tougher nights the Southern Conference Player of the Year has had in his career.
Portis made seemingly every big play down the stretch for Arkansas, but it was Qualls that kept Arkansas in the game for much of the second half. He was 8-for-9 from the floor, hitting a couple of tough jumpers in addition to his typical highlight reel dunks in transition:
HIGHLIGHT: Huge slam for Arkansas! http://t.co/5GgSmwGewN
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 20, 2015
The issue for Arkansas is that Wofford was just too tough. They weren’t bothered by the Arkansas press, forcing the Razorbacks to try and execute in the half court against their physical, man-to-man defense. It very nearly paid off with a win.
The Razorbacks now advance to play No. 4 North Carolina on Saturday. The Tar Heels blew a big lead to No. 13 Harvard earlier in the day before scoring the final four points in a 67-65 win.