Four Razorbacks scored in double figures and Connor Vanover pulled down a career-high 16 rebounds with six blocked shots to lead Arkansas to a 69-54 victory over defending C-USA champion North Texas Saturday night at Bud Walton Arena.
With the game tied at 19-19 midway through the second half, pulled away over the final eight minutes to lead by 11 (38-27) at halftime, thanks in part to a 10-0 run. The Razorbacks then held the Mean Green scoreless for the first 4:55 of the second half to race out to a 20-point lead (47-27) and never looked back.
Justin Smith led all scorers with 18 points while JD Notae pumped in 16 points coming off the bench. Both players also had six rebounds. Desi Sills added 14 and Moses Moody 11.
Vanover scored six points – making three field goals with two dunks – and was a significant presence in the middle for the Razorback defense. He is the only Razorback (since 1996) to have at least 16 rebounds and six blocked shots.
Terrence Lewis II led the Mean Green with 12 points and Zachary Simmons had 10. A perennial leader in 3-point shooting, North Texas was just 2-of-13 (15.4%) from beyond the arc.
Arkansas will return to Bud Walton Arena on Wednesday (Dec. 2) to host UT Arlington. Tipoff is set for 8:00 pm and will be telecast on the SEC Network.
FIRST HALF: Arkansas 38 – UNT 27
- Arkansas started quickly but North Texas battled back to tie the game at 17-17 with 9:44 left and once again at 19-19 with 8:02.
- Arkansas missed 11 of its 12 shots over a stretch. Moses Moody ended the dry spell with an old fashion 3-point play.
- That spurred a 10-0 run by the Razorbacks with JD Notae scoring seven straight points for a 29-19 lead with 4:51 left.
- Notae led Arkansas with 11 first-half points. Moses Moody and Justin Smith each added eight.
- Arkansas sot 41.1% from the field but was just 3-of-13 from 3-point range.
- North Texas was just 1-of-6 from 3-point range.
SECOND HALF: Arkansas 31 – UNT 27
- Arkansas held North Texas scoreless the first 4:55 seconds of the second half. (In game one, Arkansas kept Mississippi Valley scoreless the first 2:57).
- After going down 20, North Texas made 7-of-8 shots to temporarily grab the momentum, cutting the deficit to 10 (55-45).
- However, Arkansas answered with a 7-0 run and led by at least 15 the rest of the way.
- Smith scored 10 of his 18 in the second half.
- Vanover had nine of his 16 boards in the second half.
- Arkansas’ starting lineup was Jalen Tate (G) – Desi Sills (G) – Moses Moody (G) – Justin Smith (F) – Connor Vanover (F).
- Arkansas won the tip and is 2-0 this year when winning the tip.
- For the second straight game, Justin Smith scored the first points of the game, a jumper from the right lock at 19:48.
- K.K. Robinson was the first sub for Arkansas.
- Jalen Tate is 36 points shy of 1,000 for his career.
- JD Notae is 42 points shy of 1,000 for his career.
- Connor Vanover is the only Razorback (since 1996) to have at least 16 rebounds and six blocked shots (HogStats.com). Vanover’s 16 rebounds doubled his previous career-high (getting eight in game one and once getting eight as a freshman at Cal). Vanover tied his career-high with six blocked shots.
- Moses Moody was 6-of-6 at the free throw line to score 11 points. He has scored in double figures both games and has tallied three steals in each of his first three games.
- Moody, who missed his first collegiate free throw attempt in game one, has made 15 straight from the charity stripe since.
- Arkansas has only committed 16 fouls in two games (12 in game one and 14 Saturday).
For more information on Arkansas Men’s Basketball, follow @RazorbackMBB on Twitter.