FAYETTEVILLE (UofA) - A season-high 20 points for senior Delvon Johnson partnered with 14 rebounds helped the Razorback men's basketball team to a 75-60 win over the Troy Trojans on Saturday afternoon at Bud Walton Arena. This is the second double-doubles of the season for Johnson with the previous one coming against UAB a week ago.
With the victory, the Razorbacks moved to 5-1 on the season and Troy falls to 1-6. This was Troy's sixth straight loss.
"I was very happy for us to get out with a win today," said Arkansas head coach John Pelphrey. "I thought we got solid around the 8-9 minute mark of the second half and we were able to convert on some opportunities and had good looks in the second half."
Both the Razorbacks and Trojans began the contest shooting at a frantic pace and saw the lead change hands four times over the first five minutes of the game. Troy jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead before the Hogs answered right back with strong play in the paint from Johnson and sophomore Glenn Bryant to take their first lead. Troy would get a good jump shot going to get the lead back, but Arkansas kept it close and tied it up on the heels of junior Rotnei Clarke's first points of the game, a three-pointer to make it 12-12.
Throughout the majority of the first half, neither team could take control of a lead, with the score becoming tied six times and 11 lead changes. The Trojans would get their largest lead of the half at the 11:34 mark after a layup by Vernon Taylor. At that point, Troy was shooting very well from the three-point line, going 4-for-5 through just the first 10 minutes. However, strong defense and timely shooting from the Razorbacks would keep the deficit close and actually take a 12-0 run into halftime and the largest lead of the game at that point, 48-36.
"I thought, coming in, Troy was as good on offense as we've played all season," Pelphrey said. "There were times when they had four three-point shooters on the floor, so I knew it was going to be a tough and physical game."
Johnson continued to have a strong start to his season as he racked up 16 points in the first half along with six rebounds to lead the team. Clarke would follow up with 10 of his own at the break. Both squads shot well from the field percentage wise as Arkansas was shooting 52 percent, while a solid Troy team shot an even 40 percent and 6 of 13 from behind the three-point line.
Once the second half began, the Hogs jumped out to an even bigger lead in just the first six minutes of the half. Getting three-pointers from junior Jeff Peterson and Clarke to push the 12 point lead to an 18 point lead, the largest of the afternoon. Troy would respond back and go on a 13-2 run over the next five and half minutes and cut the lead to seven.
Good Razorback defense would keep the Trojans at bay as they would not get any closer than nine points for the rest of the game. Arkansas would finish the game on an 8-2 run, with all points coming from behind the charity stripe off the hands of sophomore Marshawn Powell, sophomore Julysses Nobles, and freshman Mardracus Wade. The Hogs finished the game with their second highest free-throw percentage of the season, going 23-for-28 at 82 percent.
For the game, the Razorbacks had two players score in double figures (Johnson, 20 and Clarke, 16), while Troy was led by Vernon Taylor, who had 19, and Shawntez Patterson, who had 12.
"We had a great week coming into this game," Pelphrey said. "We accomplished our goals, but it's only one week out of the season. We have a lot of weeks left."
The Razorbacks hit the road for the first time this season as their next game will come at the SEC-Big East Challenge in Louisville, Ky. on Wednesday, December 8th. The Hogs will face Seton Hall in their only game in the challenge. The game will be televised by ESPN2 and tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. For all information concerning the Razorback men's basketball team, be sure to log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.