FAYETTEVILLE (ArkansasRazorbacks.com) – Fueled by a 31-4 first half run and five players in double figures, the University of Arkansas men's basketball team opened the 2013-14 season and the start of the 20th year in Bud Walton Arena with a 99-65 win over SIU-Edwardsville on Friday night.
The Razorbacks were firing on all cylinders with their #Fastest40 style of play, forcing the Cougars into 23 turnovers that led to a 33-3 edge in points off miscues, a 51.6 field goal percentage (33-64) and a 10-0 differential in points off fast breaks.
"Our defensive pressure really affected SIU-Edwardsville," said head coach Mike Anderson, who improved to 12-0 all-time in season openers while leading the Razorbacks to their 19th straight season-opening win. "We not only forced turnovers but cashed in on our opportunities. I thought we really came in during the second half and created opportunities."
It was a pair of sophomore on top of the double figure scorers list for Arkansas, as Anthlon Bell poured in a career-high 18 points on the strength of 5-of-6 from three-point range. Highlighted by a pair of big dunks, Michael Qualls finished with 16 points and five rebounds.
Making his debut as a Razorback, redshirt junior Alandise Harris came off the pine for 15 points and 4 rebounds to lead an Arkansas bench that contributed 47 points.
The Razorbacks dominated the Cougars in the paint, putting up almost half of their total points (42) from inside the key.
SIU-Edwardsville was led by Tim Johnson's 13 points and six rebounds, the only Cougar to finish in double digits.