FAYETTEVILLE, AR (U of A) — The Fastest 40 is back.
In the first exhibition contest of the 2015-16 season, Arkansas men’s basketball used a diverse and relentless attack to cruise to a 103-58 win over Southeastern Oklahoma State on Thursday night in Bud Walton Arena. Anthlon Bell led the team with 21 points and the Razorbacks scored 26 points off 24 forced turnovers in the 45-point victory.
It was also a balanced effort for Arkansas, as nine players played in the 17-to-25 minute range and six scored in double figures. In his first game action as a Razorback, freshman Jimmy Whitt scored 19 points on 7-for-12 field goal shooting and 5-for-6 from the foul line. He also added four assists in 23 minutes.
Only 3:35 into the game, SWOSU’s Martell Collins hit a three to put the visitors ahead 8-7. It was the last lead the Bulldogs would see, however, as the Razorbacks responded with a quick 9-0 run and never looked back. Arkansas led by 25 at the break and saw their lead balloon to as many as 47 with 8:21 remaining in the second half.
“Once we got the nerves out, I thought we saw our team really get after it defensively. We did a good job of sharing the basketball. That’s what we always talk about: creating turnovers and not turning the ball over. We dominated on the boards, which we should. If you have an opportunity to dominate on that glass, it makes a big, big difference.” — Head coach Mike Anderson
“It was a great experience being able to get out there with the guys for the first time and getting to play a team other than ourselves. Being able to go out there and have fun; it was a fun experience for me and for our team to get a win.” — Freshman guard Jimmy Whitt.
• There were five dunks by the Razorbacks, one apiece by Keaton Miles, Willy Kouassi and Trey Thompson, while Moses Kingsley had a pair of slams.
• Dusty Hannahs added 14 points on 6-for-11 shooting, including 2-for-5 from long range.
• Bell stole the show from beyond the arc, burying 5-of-7 three pointers in 25 minutes.
• In the frontcourt, Willy Kouassi grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds, including four on the offensive glass.
• Jabril Durham ran the show most of the night, as the point guard had a game-best nine assists, while adding seven rebounds and a driving layup.
• A running floater by Hannahs with 1:15 remaining pushed the Razorbacks past the 100-point plateau. It was the fourth time in nine exhibition games under Anderson that Arkansas scored 100-plus points.
The Razorbacks’ second and final exhibition game will be against Delta State on Tuesday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m.