FAYETTEVILLE, AR (arkansasrazorbacks.com) — The Arkansas men’s basketball team had a Mike Anderson era-high 13 blocks, which paved the way to its best defensive effort of the year in an 83-57 victory over Tennessee Tech Saturday evening. Anderson and the Razorbacks celebrated his 56th birthday with a 26-point win, improving to 5-4 on the season.
Moses Kingsley led the way with 10 points and career highs of 13 rebounds and eight blocks, the most by an SEC player in a game this season. Dusty Hannahs (21) and Anthlon Bell (21) both surpassed 20 points for the second consecutive game, continuing their three-point barrage with seven combined treys.
After a quick four-bucket burst by the Golden Eagles cut the Arkansas lead to 21-17 with 7:31 remaining in the first half, the Razorbacks went on a 17-0 run over the next six minutes in which Trey Thompson scored eight points. Thompson finished the game with career highs of 10 points and seven rebounds, as the Arkansas lead never dropped below 15 for the rest of the contest. Jabril Durham contributed 10 assists for his fourth double-digit helper game of the season, including seven of the team’s 16 first-half field goals.
It was once again the Bell show in the second half, as the senior guard paced the Razorbacks with 14 points in the final frame in only 11 minutes of playing time. Dusty Hannahs dropped 10 points in the second half following an 11-point effort in the first; recording his fifth 20-plus point game of the season and leading Arkansas in scoring for the sixth time in the last seven games.
A stout interior defense was effective early for the Razorbacks, as the Golden Eagles began the game 8-for-31 from the field through the first 21 minutes. Ultimately, Arkansas held TTU to 57 points, the lowest of any opponent this season. On the offensive end, the Razorbacks shot 31-for-62 from the field, their fourth effort of 50 percent or better in nine games, and the bench contributed 38 points after a 40-point performance last game against Evansville on Tuesday night.
"I think our defense was the catalyst by protecting the rim. We talked about our defense making people attack the basket, but you have to have a rim protector back there. To have 13 blocked shots by different guys, it means our guys are in position, rotating and fixing things on defense." — Head coach Mike Anderson
"Honestly, I didn't know I had that many blocks. What I did was just try to protect the rim as much as possible, that's what Coach emphasized before the game. That's what he has been emphasizing the last few weeks in practice, so that's what I tried to do tonight." Junior forward Moses Kingsley
• Kingsley was only the second player in all of Division I with a game of 13-plus rebounds and eight-plus blocks in a game this season. The other, Jameel Warney of Stony Brook, had 26 points, 15 rebounds and eight blocks against Princeton on Dec. 5.
• Kingsley recorded his fifth double-double of the year with 10 points and a career-high 13 rebounds.
• Durham joins PJ Boutte of The Citadel and Kahlil Felder of Oakland as the only three Division I players with four or more games of 10-plus assists this season.
• Durham has four of the seven double-digit assist performances in the SEC this year.
• Bell and Hannahs have shot a combined 15-for-23 from beyond the arc over the last two games and combined for 30-plus points for the seventh time this season.
• This was the third time that Durham had 10-plus assists and Kingsley had 10-plus rebounds in the same game.
• All nine Razorbacks who saw playing time scored a basket and had at least three points.
• With 10 turnovers compared to 12 by the Golden Eagles, Arkansas has now won or tied the turnover battle in all nine games.
• Hannahs, Bell and Moses Kingsley have now scored in double digits in all eight games this year.
• The Razorbacks had more blocks (13) than turnovers (10) for the 13th time since joining the SEC in 1993 (via @HogStats).
Arkansas heads down to North Little Rock to face Mercer University in Verizon Arena on Saturday, Dec. 19. The Razorbacks and the Bears tip off at 7 p.m. CT.