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FAYETTEVILLE - Rotnei Clarke scored 20 points and Arkansas trailed only briefly in a 84-74 win over Oklahoma Wednesday night at Bud Walton Arena.
The Razorbacks (4-1) held off several Sooners runs in the game’s final minutes for its second win in three years over its border rival. Arkansas led by as many as 17 points after staking a six-point halftime lead.
Jeff Peterson scored 15 points and added five assists for the Razorbacks, while newcomers Marvell Waithe (eight points, six rebounds), Rickey Scott (five points) and Mardracus Wade (eight points, two steals) each had the best games of their young careers.
“Tonight was a team victory,” Arkansas coach John Pelphrey said. “Everybody did a little bit of something to help us win.”
Clarke hit 3 of 5 attempts from 3-point range and became the fastest player in Arkansas history to hit 200 3-pointers in a career. Arkansas hit 5 of 11 from beyond the arc as a team after going 3-for-21 in its last game.
Andrew Fitzgerald scored 18 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in a losing effort for the Sooners (3-4).
Arkansas hit 28 of 55 of its field goal attempts and scored 28 points off 22 Oklahoma turnovers.
It was a nice turnaround after Arkansas hit just 38 percent of its shots in an overtime loss to Alabama-Birmingham last Friday in North Little Rock.
The Sooners stayed in the game thanks to a large rebounding margin. Oklahoma outrebounded Arkansas 42-23, holding the Razorbacks to just seven rebounds after halftime. The Sooners had 22 second-chance points on 18 offensive rebounds.
Arkansas continued to be short-handed in the frontcourt. Preseason all-SEC forward Marshawn Powell was limited, scoring two points and grabbing two rebounds in just 12 minutes as he continues to recover from a preseason foot injury. Michael Sanchez missed his fifth game of the year with a foot injury of his own.
“Right now we’ve got two of our better front court players that aren’t healthy,” Pelphrey said. “We aren’t going to make any excuses, though. We’re going to make the best of what we’ve got and go out there with it.
“Rebounding is something we’re struggling with. When somebody is leading us with six rebounds, it’s not good.”
Free throw shooting helped Arkansas keep the Sooners at a distance, however. The Razorbacks hit 23 of 26 charity tosses on the night.
An estimated 10,047 attended the game. It was the largest crowd this season at Bud Walton Arena.