College Hoops Player of the Day for Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Hosting the Kentucky Wildcats is always a big deal in the SEC, but, as the Arkansas Razorbacks proved Tuesday night, beating them is an even bigger thrill.
After James Young tied the game for the Wildcats with 12 seconds left in overtime, Michael Qualls grabbed the rebound off a three-point miss by teammate Rashad Madden and stuffed it home for the game-winner with one second on the clock, giving Arkansas their first conference win and a needed boost in the SEC with an 87-85 OT victory.
Qualls, a 6'6" sophomore from Shreveport, LA, was on the court for most of the game, logging 34 minutes, finishing with 18 points, five rebounds, four assists and a pair of steals, but no play was more important than the game-finisher, getting good position to rebound the miss and put it back for the win.
A consistent scorer, Qualls has been in double figures in 14 of 16 Razorback games. On the night he was just 5-for-14 from the field, but canned seven of 11 free throws and played a big role on defense against the taller Kentucky team, helping to force 17 turnovers.
The Razorbacks took the win after back-to-back losses to open SEC play, losing at Texas A&M, 69-53, and falling in overtime to Florida at home on Saturday, 84-82. Arkansas is 12-4 overall.
The loss was the first in the conference for Kentucky, dropping them into a third-place tie with Georgia at 2-1. Florida leads with a 3-0 mark. Texas A&M is in second place, at 2-0.