FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — For one last time, Arkansas' Marshawn Powell got in the way of Oklahoma.
With 2.4 seconds left on the clock Tuesday night, the Sooners' Tyler Neal attempted to inbound a pass to Romero Osby. But Powell crossed in front of the senior and knocked the pass down, along with the OU's hopes of a comeback.
Nothing the Sooners did could stop the Razorbacks at Bud Walton Arena, where the Hogs won 81-78. It gave the Razorbacks their first win after losing three straight.
Osby's face was one of pure defeat. The senior forward didn't start for the first time in his college career but played one of his best games, scoring a season- and team-high 22 points and grabbing six rebounds.
Here's the truth: The Sooners came out slow, like coach Lon Kruger wanted them too. They came out communicating, like Kruger wanted them too. They came out semi-physical, like Kruger wanted them too. They just didn't do it to the best of their ability.
“We're going to make progress in all those areas every ballgame but we've got a long way to go,” the second-year coach said.
Here's the other truth: Oklahoma couldn't stop Powell from beyond the arc. He had 19 points by halftime and finished the game with a career-high 33. He nailed four of six 3-pointers, went 11-for-17 on field goals and made 7 of 8 free throws.
Osby knew Powell was good. The faced each other when Osby was at Mississippi State.
“He had a lot of moves,” Osby said. “I told the team he's a good player. ... When he's knocking down threes he's tough to guard.”
Steven Pledger knew it too. He and Powell grew up playing on the same AAU team. They walked off the court after the game arm in arm, but during the game they watched each other change momentum for their team.