Au'Diese Toney scored 19 points Tuesday night as No. 13 Arkansas outslugged Cincinnati down the stretch for a 73-67 win in the championship game of the Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City, Mo.
Toney also grabbed nine rebounds, his last two coming on the offensive glass to extend a late-game possession and force the Bearcats (5-1) to foul. Chris Lykes canned two free throws with 21.8 seconds for a 70-67 lead, then made two more foul shots with 8.8 seconds remaining to ice it.
Free throw shooting and rebounding were the differences in a November game with a March feel. Arkansas (5-0) went 24 of 32 at the line, including 18 of 23 in the second half, while Cincinnati made 11 of 13. The Razorbacks earned a 46-32 advantage on the boards, grabbing 18 offensive boards.
David DeJulius scored a game-high 24 points for the Bearcats, who led 67-66 after he sank two foul shots with 2:31 left. But Cincinnati didn't score again, committing a pair of critical turnovers and failing to convert a layup with just over a minute left that would have given it a one-point lead.
Lykes added 15 points for Arkansas and JD Notae hit for 13 points.
Both teams got after each other defensively in the first half. It was 4-2 Arkansas at the first TV timeout and the Razorbacks held Cincinnati to just four points in the first 7 1/2 minutes.
The only problem for Arkansas was that it couldn't establish a working margin during that span, leading just 10-4 when the Bearcats finally found traction offensively. DeJulius set the pace with a jumper and a 3-pointer on consecutive possessions.
Abdul Ado converted a transition layup at the 9:13 mark to give Cincinnati its first lead at 14-13. The Bearcats led for most of the half's remainder, eventually taking a 30-26 cushion into intermission thanks to two foul shots by Mike Saunders with 33 seconds remaining.
Neither team shot better than 34 percent in the half, but the difference was that Cincinnati outscored the Razorbacks 12-0 from the 3-point arc.
--Field Level Media