Weems’ Hot Hand Cools Off

The Morning News/Razorback Central
Posted Mar 23, 2008


RALEIGH, N.C. — Arkansas forward Sonny Weems kept shooting Sunday evening, undeterred by the fact that not everything that left his right hand was going in.

The senior was hoping to get into a rhythm and help the Razorbacks erase what turned into a massive deficit against top-ranked North Carolina. But Weems could only do so much, especially when his shot wasn’t falling like it did two nights earlier in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.

Weems followed up the best shooting performance of his career by missing 5 of 6 3-point attempts and needing 20 shots to score 19 points in a 108-77 loss to the Tar Heels in the RBC Center.

“I didn’t want to give up. This is my last go-around at it. I’ll never play in the NCAA Tournament again,” Weems said. “I just wanted to keep fighting and keep fighting and try to spark a little run, but we ended up short.”

Weems never found his shooting touch against North Carolina’s stingy defense, making only 4 of 12 field goals in the first half and finishing 8 of 20 from the floor. He missed 3-pointers, had difficulty getting to the free throw line and didn’t have much success when he drove to the basket.

This came two days after the senior scored a career-high 31 points and made all eight of his shots in the second half of Friday night’s 86-72 win over Indiana.

“I don’t think they did anything (to contain me),” Weems said of North Carolina’s defenders. “I didn’t want to force anything. I just didn’t want to come out and force anything.”

But North Carolina guard/forward Marcus Ginyard made things tougher on Weems by keeping an eye on Arkansas’ leading scorer and contesting many of his shots.

At one point down the stretch, Weems went nearly 10 minutes without scoring a point. He ended the drought when he threw down a two-handed dunk with the Razorbacks trailing 103-71 with 2:05 remaining.

“Marcus did a good job, but let’s be honest, Weems missed two wide-open shots, too,” North Carolina coach Roy Williams said. “You’ve got to get the guys to help you a little bit. They have got to miss some open looks.”

Sunday wasn’t how Weems had hoped to end his two-year career at Arkansas. His two-handed dunk with a little more than two minutes remaining served as his final basket as a Razorback.

Arkansas coach John Pelphrey took out his star senior 33 seconds later.


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