Arkansas defeats Missouri Southern in exhibition opener

FAYETTEVILLE ( Highlighted a 20-5 early first half run and all three members of the starting frontcourt in double figures, the Arkansas men's basketball team defeated Missouri Southern 99-82 in an exhibition contest Friday night at Bud Walton Arena.

The trio of senior Coty Clarke, redshirt junior Alandise Harris and freshman Bobby Portis combined for 37 points and 22 rebounds to lead the Razorbacks. Portis recorded a double-double in the first half before finishing with a game-high 12 rebounds, while Clarke led the squad in scoring with 14 points.

"I thought we played well at times tonight, but there are a lot of things we need to get in the gym and work on tomorrow," said head coach Mike Anderson. "We were able to play a lot of different combinations and that's' what we need to do with such a deep roster."

Arkansas' balanced attack of five players featured the three previously mentioned forwards along with guards Anthlon Bell and Kikko Haydar, who finished with 13 and 11 points, respectively. The 99-point night was fueled by 22 assists on 32 field goals, as the Razorbacks shot 46 percent (32-70) from the floor and 26-of-37 from the free throw line.

The Razorbacks were able to build a double figure lead less than five minutes into the game, as a 20-5 run that absorbed a 4:38 span resulted in a 27-11 score. Arkansas came away with points on nine of 12 possessions during the run, hitting 9-of-11 from the field, highlighted by four three-pointers and an old-fashioned three-point play by senior Fred Gulley III.

Arkansas' lead dipped to under double figures just past the midway point of the first half before the frontcourt tandem of Clarke and Portis combined to score 14 of the team's 24 points over the final 7:59. All eight of Clarke's first half points came over the stretch, while Portis registered his double-double in the first half alone with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Over the first 20 minutes, Arkansas shot a solid 57 percent (21-37) from the field, including 5-of-12 from long range, and turned 10 Missouri Southern turnovers into 16 points.

The lead reached as large as 25 in the second half, as 11 of the 13 players that saw time registered a field goal.

Three players reached double figures for Missouri Southern, led by Greg Renfroe's double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds. The Lions shot 43 percent (29-67) on the night.

Portis and classmate Moses Kingsley accounted for 10 of Arkansas' 22 offensive rebounds on the night. Of Kingsley's seven rebounds in 10 minutes of work, six came on the offensive glass. Senior Mardracus Wade added nine points and four assists, while sophomore Michael Qualls and Gulley also ended the night with nine points.

Arkansas will host its final exhibition game on Tuesday, Nov. 5, against Northeastern State (Okla.). Tip at Bud Walton Arena is slated for 7 p.m.

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