Texas A&M, Arkansas Benches Clear In Second Half (VIDEO)
DALLAS -- Khris Middleton scored 19 of his 31 points after a bench-clearing scuffle early in the second half, including the go-ahead free throw in overtime, and No. 25 Texas A&M extended its winning streak to seven games with a 71-62 victory over Arkansas on Saturday.
The first meeting between the old Southwest Conference rivals in 20 seasons got feisty when the Aggies (10-1) were calling a timeout after Arkansas scored the first seven points of the second half. The Razorbacks (7-2) led 42-33 at the time.
Texas A&M caught up when David Loubeau's free throw with 4:17 left in regulation tied the game 58-all. The next score was Middleton's two free throws with 2:05 left that gave A&M its first lead of the second half.
Arkansas' last field goal of regulation came when Mardracus Wade had a breakaway layup for a 58-52 lead with 6:43 left. The Razorbacks forced overtime when Julysses Nobles made two free throws with 1:06 left.
Middleton's free throw with 3:48 left in overtime broke the 60-all tie, and put Texas A&M ahead to stay. There wasn't another score until Loubeau hit a short jumper after taking an inbounds pass from Middleton with 2:10 left.
The scuffle early in the second half began when A&M's Dash Harris was knocked to the ground when fouled by Jeff Peterson as he was crossing midcourt just as Aggies coach Mark Turgeon was calling a timeout with his team down 42-33.
After Middleton tried to help the players up, one of his teammates got pushed into Peterson after Arkansas players were already coming the bench to greet their teammates for the fast start. The pushing and shoving then escalated at midcourt near the scorer's table though no punches were thrown.
It took the officials more than 10 minutes to sort out the situation. They looked at several replays, taking notes on a piece of paper. Arkansas' Marvell Waithe and Kourtney Roberson of Texas A&M were ejected for coming off the bench and getting involved in the fracas.
Soon after play resumed, Harris had a steal and was heading to the basket when he passed to Middleton trailing him for a basket. Rotnei Clarke responded with a 3-pointer for the Razorbacks, giving them their biggest lead at 45-35.
Clarke had 14 points with four 3-pointers to lead Arkansas, while Nobles had 12 points.
Middleton was 10 of 16 from the field and Nathan Walkup added 15 points.
Texas A&M had led throughout most of the first half until Nobles drove for a layup to give Arkansas a 35-33 at the halftime buzzer.
The former Southwest Conference rivals played for the 148th time, the first time since a SWC tournament game at old Reunion Arena in Dallas in March 1991. Arkansas had won the last six meetings, and nine of 10, and has won 96 times in the series.
The scuffle only added to an ugly game that included 42 turnovers, 51 fouls and no field goals for either team the rest of regulation after Middleton had consecutive baskets for the Aggies, the last with 5:42 left.
Texas A&M played its first regular season neutral-site game in Dallas since playing TCU at then brand-new Reunion Arena during the 1980-81 season. The Aggies have won 10 of their last 14 games away from home.
The site of that since-demolished building is just down the road from the American Airlines Center, where the Aggies played Saturday.