December 06, 2014

Previously unbeaten Arkansas came crashing back down to earth in its last game.

The No. 18 Razorbacks will try to bounce back from their first loss when they visit Clemson on Sunday.

Arkansas outscored opponents by nearly 20 points per game in opening 6-0 before falling 95-77 at No. 20 Iowa State on Thursday as part of the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. The Razorbacks gave up their highest scoring total of the season and allowed the Cyclones to shoot a whopping 64.0 percent, the highest mark by an opponent since 2008.

"Our defense was not typical of how we play. They put us on our heels," said coach Mike Anderson, whose team trailed by 20 at the break. "Our guys showed some fight in the second half, which I'm pleased with, but on the road you have to be ready to play for 40 minutes."

Bobby Portis scored 19 points on 8-of-10 shooting to lead four players in double figures for Arkansas. Alandise Harris had 15 and Rashad Madden added 13 for the Razorbacks, who are among the highest scoring teams in the country with 88.1 points per game.

"Bobby Portis is an out of this world talent," Tigers coach Brad Brownell said. "Michael Qualls is a fantastic athlete and perimeter scorer. Rashad Madden is a senior point guard. It's an older team, one with experience. Offensively, they move the ball and are very unselfish.

"We schedule these types of games to attract energy and atmosphere. ... Arkansas plays high-possession games, so it will be more up and down. We'll need to make some good decisions in this game."

The Razorbacks are 2-0 in the all-time series after winning 74-68 last Dec. 7. Qualls led the way with 17 points while Madden and Portis combined for 27.

K.J. McDaniels, meanwhile, scored 27 for Clemson (4-3), which hasn't looked the same since losing last year's leading scorer to the NBA.

"As coaches we are figuring out more and more how much he meant to our team," Brownell said. "We just are lacking a little bit of confidence, a little bit of swagger, a little bit of toughness; all the things that K.J. brought, we don't really have that."

The Tigers are coming off Monday's 69-64 loss to Rutgers in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, their first defeat in four games. Damarcus Harrison scored 15 points while Jaron Blossomgame added 12 and 10 rebounds.

Clemson held a 39-30 edge on the glass but committed 12 turnovers to the Scarlet Knights' three.

"Our minds have gotten away from what helps us win," Brownell said. "We haven't defended at a very high level most games. We have had some very good first halves. But we've struggled in the second, where sometimes we have difficulty scoring and it breaks our will a little bit."

Monday's defeat dropped the Tigers to 2-2 at home, an especially disappointing mark after going 16-3 there last season. Clemson ranks near the bottom of the ACC with 68.4 points per game.

The Tigers have dropped four straight and 18 of their last 20 against Top 25 opponents. Their last two defeats, however, came by an average of just 3.0 points.

Five of Clemson's seven games this season have been decided by five points or fewer.

The Razorbacks are 2-11 on the road against non-conference foes since 2006-07.

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