FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Univ. of Ark.) - Led by a career-high 24 points from junior Rashad Madden and a near double-double by freshman Bobby Portis that featured 18 points, the Arkansas men's basketball team picked up a wire-to-wire 86-67 SEC win over Auburn on Saturday at Bud Walton Arena.
Fueled by Portis, who made his presence felt in the first half with 14 points and six rebounds, Arkansas climbed out of its offensive struggles behind the two-time SEC Freshman of the Week as it embarked on a 17-3 run that absorbed 5:41 off the clock and ended in a 31-16 advantage for the home team. Portis had 10 points during the run, accounting for the first five and the last five.
Owning a 49-38 lead with 14:46 left in the second half after eight straight points from redshirt senior Fred Gulley III, Madden took the game over, scoring 19 of Arkansas' final 37 points. Madden finished the second half with a perfect shooting clip, hitting 4-of-4 from the field, both three-pointers and 9-of-9 at the free throw line.
Portis finished a rebound shy of his fourth double-double of the year, leading the team for the eighth time this year on the boards with nine rebounds to go along with his 18 points. Madden's 24 points bested his career-high he set on Jan. 11, when he scored 23 against Florida.
Led by three players with five assists, Arkansas passed out 21 helpers on its 28 made field goals. During the second half in which the Razorbacks made 17-of-26 from the field and assisted on 14 of those made shots. Senior Coty Clarke, Madden and sophomore Michael Qualls all tied for the team lead with five assists.