Portis, Defense lead Arkansas past Dayton - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Portis, Defense lead Arkansas past Dayton

FAYETTEVILLE, AR (arkansasrazorbacks.com) – Sophomore Bobby Portis scored 18 points and hauled in nine rebounds, while Arkansas limited Dayton to 23 points in the first half en route to a convincing 69-55 win on Saturday at Bud Walton Arena. 

Playing its first home game in the month of December with three true road games under its belt, Arkansas improved to 7-2 on the young season while snapping Dayton's (7-2) five-game win streak. The win was the Razorbacks' 20th in a row at home in non-conference play. 

Portis' 9-of-14 day from the field featured 14 points in the first half, as he scored 18+ points for the third straight game. Senior Rashad Madden was the only other Razorback in double figures with 12 points, while junior Jabril Durham went a perfect 3-for-3 from three-point land in his second start of the year.

The first four minutes featured five lead changes until Arkansas turned up the heat on the defensive end during an 18-5 run that absorbed 6:41 off the clock. The run ended on a 9-0 spurt in which the Razorbacks came away with five straight defense stops, highlighted by a block by sophomore Moses Kingsley that transitioned into an open three-pointer for freshman Anton Beard and a 23-11 lead (10:28). 

Arkansas' double-digit lead went away for just 41 seconds the rest of the half, as it forced the Flyers into an uncharacteristic 10 turnovers over the first 20 minutes to take a commanding 40-23 lead into the break. Portis had 14 points and six rebounds in the first half while Dayton was just 9-of-24 from the field compared to 15-of-26 by the Razorbacks. 

Durham gave the Razorbacks their largest lead (20), 43-23, with a three-pointer on their first possession of the second half. The closest Dayton came was 59-48 with 2:41 left in the game, but Arkansas was able to seal the game by hitting its final eight free throws, including six from Madden.

Arkansas has now held two opponents under 60 points this season, as Dayton joins Wake Forest. The Flyers shot 40 percent (21-52) from the field and 5-of-18 from three. The Razorbacks became the first team to shoot more free throws than Dayton this season, hitting 16-of-21 compared to just 14 attempts for the Flyers, while winning rebounding battle by a 34-25 margin. 

#RazorStat Of The Game
Portis scored eight of Arkansas' final 10 points in the first half for a 40-23 lead heading into the locker, good for Arkansas' largest halftime lead of the season. Portis' 14 first half points came over 14 minutes, while it marked the fourth time this year he's reached double figures in the opening half. 

@RazorbackMBB Quick Hits 
• Arkansas led for the final 36:14 in the game.
• Arkansas became the first team to score less than 70 points and defeat Dayton (7-1) this season. 
• Improved to 6-0 at home this season and 57-6 all-time under coach Anderson.
• Just the fifth game in program history against an A-10 team.
• Arkansas is now 2-0 against Dayton with the other win coming in the second round of the 1990 NCAA Tournament.
• Dayton is just the second A-10 program to visit Bud Walton Arena. 
• Seventh time this season Arkansas has forced double-digit turnovers in a half. 
• Arkansas took three charges.
• Portis has reached double figures in eight of nine games. 
• Portis has led Arkansas in scoring and rebounding in the same game three times. 
• Williams equaled a career-high with six rebounds. 

Coach Anderson Postgame Sound 
“I thought we carried our week of practice over to today's game and it showed on the defensive end. Our focus all week leading up to this game was defense and how we needed to be more vocal on that end of the court. In the first half our defense fueled us and it led to some transition points during the big run. We need to duplicate the mindset we had today each and every game.”

Up Next
Arkansas will have a week off before making its annual trip to North Little Rock on Saturday, Dec. 20. The Razorbacks will host Southeast Missouri State at Verizon Arena starting at 7:30 p.m. The game will be televised on the SEC Network. 

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