Depth pushes No. 25 Arkansas past Iona

Depth pushes No. 25 Arkansas past Iona


A 17-4 run late in the second half and 20-point games from juniors Michael Qualls and Anthlon Bell helped the No. 25 Arkansas men's basketball team remain unbeaten with a 94-77 win over high-scoring MAAC favorite Iona on Sunday afternoon at Bud Walton Arena.

The win moves the Razorbacks to 6-0 on the season, good for their best start since 1997-98 and first perfect month of November since 2004-05. Iona, who scored 126 point in its last game, was held 11 points below their season scoring average en route to dropping to 4-2.

Bell was Arkansas' biggest offensive threat over the first 25 minutes of the game, scoring 18 of his 20 points over that span, including five three-pointers. Bell's final two points of the game came at the free throw line with 7:14 to play, giving the Memphis native his second 20-point game of the season and kick-starting a game-changing 17-4 run over the next 3:48.

After his two free throws, Bell passed the scoring baton to Qualls, who took over by scoring 11 of the team's next 15 points during the 17-4 run while the hot-shooting Gaels' six-man rotation started to fall victim to Arkansas' depth. Iona went 2-for-7 during the run with a turnover while Qualls hit two three-pointers and completed a traditional three-point play that gave the Razorbacks their largest lead of the game (15), at 84-69.

Entering the game as the SEC leader in threes per game, Bell strengthened his start with a 5-for-10 night from long range while Qualls went 3-for-7 from three as the duo made a combined eight threes for the second straight contest. Qualls and Bell are the second Arkansas tandem to score 20 points in the same game this season. On the flipside, Iona shot 7-of-23 from three-point land, which is six threes below its NCAA-leading average.

Senior Rashad Madden continued to celebrate Thanksgiving with his second straight stat-stuffing night that included 16 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and two steals. Sophomore Bobby Portis was the final Razorback in double figures with 11 points and joined Qualls with a team-best nine rebounds.

Arkansas' depth helped force Iona into 18 turnovers that led to a 25-15 edge in points off miscues. The Razorbacks' also controlled the boards with 21 offensive caroms that led to 20 points compared to just five second chance points for Iona.