By Parrish Alford
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Subtract 18 points from David Huertas? No problem. Just replace them with Will Bogan.
Bogan, a lightly used freshman reserve point guard, doubled his career high with 16 points on 5-for-8 shooting, and Ole Miss outlasted Arkansas 98-91 in overtime before a Bud Walton Arena crowd of 14,033 Wednesday night.
Huertas, the fifth-leading scorer in the SEC at 18.5 points a game, sat on the bench in street clothes, forced out because of a bruised foot.
It had been mostly quiet on the injury front for Ole Miss since December, but the absence of Huertas took away the Rebels’ top 3-point threat.
Bogan was 2-for-5 behind the arc, but his biggest plays may have been his three assists within a span of two minutes late in regulation that kept the pressure on the Razorbacks.
“It’s exciting. It’s a great feeling to have this kind of game in a crucial game like this in overtime is even better,” Bogan said.
Terrico White with 29 points and Zach Graham with 20 also notched career-highs.
“We all knew without David that people had to step up a lot. Everybody’s roles Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy replaced Huertas with freshman Terrance Henry in the starting lineup, along with DeAundre Cranston in place of Murphy Holloway at power forward.
The Razorbacks (14-14, 2-13 SEC) shot better than 60 percent most of the first half and hit 8-of-15 3-point attempts en route to building a 12-point lead.
Ole Miss (16-13, 7-8) cut the lead to nine at the break and did a better job in its zone defense to deny the 3-point looks in the second half.
Arkansas freshman Rotnei Clarke was 4-for-5 behind the arc in the first half but 1-for-7 in the second.
“They were screening us at the top of the zone, and when we mishandled it they made us pay,” Kennedy said. “Once we handled their screens better our results were better.”
The zone defense clamped down on the Hogs in the overtime, forcing them into misses on four straight trips after Michael Washington scored on the first possession for an 86-84 Arkansas lead.
Ole Miss scored on its first four possessions in the overtime, getting seven points in that span from Graham, whose 3-pointer gave the Rebels the lead for good at 89-86 after a pass from Bogan, who finished with a season-high seven assists.
White had 25 points in the second half and was 5-for-7 behind the arc then.
The Rebels were 8-for-13 from 3-point range in the second half.
“Ole Miss played about as good a second half as you could ask,” Arkansas coach John Pelphrey said. “They exploited some spots at the right time, and that was ultimately the biggest difference.”
Parrish Alford/Daily Journal