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By David Schuh | @DSchuhKernel
The UK men’s basketball team could not overcome Arkansas’ home-court advantage Saturday, tying a season-high with 19 turnovers in a 73-60 loss to the Razorbacks in Fayetteville, Ark.
Arkansas entered the game 16-1 at home and just 1-10 on the road. From the beginning, their full-court pressure and transition offense gave the Cats problems.
UK (20-9, 11-5 SEC) got off to a fast shooting start, but the Arkansas defense quickly swung the momentum.
The Razorbacks forced six turnovers in the first eight minutes, two on inbounds plays, to fuel a 9-1 run and give them the lead midway through the half.
The Cats looked somewhat flustered by the pressure, and the home team maintained their minimal lead for the rest of the half.
Freshman guard Archie Goodwin, playing in his home state for the first time this season, scored nine of UK’s final 13 points, and Arkansas took a 32-29 lead into the break.
The Cats shot 45 percent in the half, but turned the ball over 11 times. That, along with 10 offensive rebounds for the Razorbacks, made the difference.
In the second half, UK had no answer for the Arkansas defense. The Razorbacks jumped out on an 11-0 run early in the half, forcing the Cats into four straight turnovers.
UK found itself down 12 three minutes into the half. The Cats quickly got it back to five but Arkansas again went on a 7-0 run that put the lead back to double digits, where it would stay the rest of the game.
The Cats continually struggled to get into their offensive sets. They attempted just eight field goals in the first 14 minutes of the second half.
Freshman forward Alex Poythress, who had one of his best games against Missouri last Saturday, played only 17 minutes and fouled out with five minutes left.
Mainly due to the surplus of turnovers, Arkansas attempted 26 more field goals than UK. Despite shooting 45 percent to the Razorbacks’ 34, the Cats couldn’t make up for the discrepancy in attempts to narrow the deficit.
Goodwin led UK with 14 points in his return home. Freshman center Willie Cauley-Stein had 13 points and 10 rebounds, his third double-double of the season.
The Cats have four days off before traveling to Athens, Ga. for their final road game of the season against Georgia.