Hogs run past Demons

Hogs run past Demons


Hogs run past Demons


Arkansas forward Keaton Miles (55) dives for a loose ball during a game between Arkansas and Northwestern State on Tuesday.

Arkansas forward Keaton Miles (55) dives for a loose ball during a game between Arkansas and Northwestern State on Tuesday.

FAYETTEVILLE — This time the Arkansas lead was too vast for the other shoe to fall.

The same Arkansas Razorbacks that last Friday in Brooklyn, N.Y., led Stanford by 17 with 6:38 left in the game and lost 69-66, led the Northwestern State Demons, 104-58, with 6:38 left Tuesday night and eventually triumphed 117-78 at Walton Arena.

The victory upped Arkansas to 3-3 going into Friday night’s game at ACC power Wake Forest, while NSU of the Southland Conference — minus injured guard Jalan West, last seasons’ national assists leader averaging 20 points, and injured starting forward Tre’van Joseph — falls to 1-6.

NSU Mike McConathey’s style is to play fast regardless of his guards but even with outstanding NSU guard Zeek Woodley, a game-high 26 points Tuesday, returning from last year’s Demons that lost a 100-92 ping-pong tempo game to Arkansas here, it fast played into Arkansas thieving hands.

Arkansas forced 15 first-half NSU while leading 54-38 at intermission and kept picking the Demons’ pockets for 10 more in the second half.

For the game, Arkansas outscored NSU 39-9 off turnovers, made 23 of 30 free throws to NSU’s 10 of 16 and outrebounded the Demons, 45-29.

“We came in with a defensive mindset,” Arkansas coach Mike Anderson said. “And when we have a defensive mindset that’s when we can have some big runs. Also I thought we established a low-post presence. That may have been the fewest threes (only six in the first half) we had taken all year.””

Arkansas was paced by two double-doubles Tuesday, center Moses Kingsley’s 21 points and 12 rebounds, and an unusual 10 assists to go with 14 points double-double from senior point guard Jabril Durham, while graduate student transfer reserve center Willy Kouassi nearly double-doubled with 12 points, hitting 5 of 6 around the basket with nine rebounds. Junior guard Manny Watkins also played well with eight points, nine boards and five assists.

“It feels great,” Durham said Tuesday. “Especially after the game we lost that we were supposed to win. I still have a bad taste in my mouth from that.”

His double-double erased some of the bad taste.

“I had double-doubles and even a triple-double in junior college,” Durham, a second-year senior transfer said. “I never had a double-double here. That goes to my teammates for finishing.”

And Kouassi, needed considerably off the bench with sophomore big man Trey Thompson of Madison via Forrest City High missing his second consecutive game with a sprained ankle.

“I thought Willy was the MVP offensively and defensively,” Durham said.

Kouassi, formerly of Auburn then Kennesaw State, transferred to Arkansas with one season’s eligibility as a graduate student.

“I thought Willy brought energy,” Anderson said. “He can help us because he’s long and active and he brings energy.”

They’ll likely need Kouassi energetic against Wake Forest Friday night in Winston-Salem, N.C. behind Kingsley as Thompson’s status is “day to day,” Anderson said Tuesday night.

Off the Arkansas bench guard Dusty Hannahs, 3 for 6 on threes, matched Kingsley’s team-high 21 points while Anthlon Bell scored 17.

Freshman NSU center Ishmael Lane also scored 17.

With four missed one and not done shots and a turnover comprising their first five positions, the Razorbacks appeared Tuesday night to be picking up where they left off in the collapse against Stanford.

However, only down 4-0 despite their early game Tuesday struggles, the Razorbacks responded with a 12-0 commenced at 17:18 with a Bell jumper and completed at 14:55 on a Kingsley fast break fed by Durham.

Arkansas peaked the lead to nine but the Demons would regain it 27-26 with an 11-0 run capped by Woodley’s three at 7:29.

It marked NSU’s last lead.

A Keaton Miles to Kingsley layup got the got the Hog off and running to a 15-0 surge and eventual 54-38 halftime lead.

“We took the lead 27-26 and threw it away five straight tmes an the went on a 15-0 run, and from there it was curtains,” NSU coach Mike McConathy said.”

The 16-point halftime lead equaled Arkansas’ 16 points advantage on points off turnovers, 21-6. The Razorbacks forced the Demons, still playing fast-paced even minus injured for the season national 2014-2015 assists leading guard Jalan West, into 15 turnovers while committing six.

Although outscored on first-half threes, the Razorbacks’ superior inside emphasis and foul-inducing fast breaks off steals brought Arkansas to the first-half free-throw line to hit 13 of 16 compared to NSU’s 3 of 4.

A 7-0 Razorbacks run opening the second half had the Hogs up 23, 61-38 at 17:38.

By 8:10 Bell’s two free throws had the Hogs hitting 100.

Razorbacks scholarship freshman Lorenzo “Doobie” Jenkins debuted hitting a 3-pointer and dishing an assist in the final seven minutes.


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