Photo Courtesy: UA Athletics (Walt Beazley)
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Univ. of Ark.) - Junior Marshawn Powell led the University of Arkansas basketball team with 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting as the Razorbacks ran past the Mississippi State Bulldogs, 96-70, at Bud Walton Arena on Wednesday night.
"It was a game of tempo," Razorback head coach Mike Anderson said. "We established the tempo because of our defense. Our first five was very active, and they were unselfish offensively and defensively. It was good to see it come together."
Arkansas (12-6, 3-2 SEC) had several notable stats in the game, including the 26-point margin of victory, which ranks tied for eighth all-time in a Southeastern Conference game. Arkansas finished the night with 11 team blocks, which ranks second all-time for blocks in an SEC game. The Razorbacks also recorded 27 assists on 33 made shots, the assists are tied for second-most in an SEC game. The Razorbacks also forced 29 turnovers, which is tied for fourth all-time in SEC play, those turnovers led to an astounding 42 Razorback points.
"We really harassed the basketball," Andersons said. "Our pressure defense created a lot of havoc, especially in the second half. I thought fatigue was a huge factor."
Four Razorbacks scored in double-digits, as Powell recorded 17, junior Coty Clarke and sophomore BJ Young tallied 13 a piece and freshman Jacorey Williams snagged 10 in the victory.
The starting five for the Razorbacks got off to a fast start, putting Arkansas up 14-3 with 14:47 remaining in the first half. The group, consisting of Rashad Madden, Fred Gulley, Rickey Scott, Hunter Mickelson and Powell, earned a standing ovation from the crowd as they forced six turnovers and tallied six assists in the opening minutes. The 11-point lead by the starting five was the largest lead of the half until the Razorbacks went on an 11-2 run, led by Young to put Arkansas up 42-28 with 1:43 remaining. The Bulldogs would chip away at the 14-point lead to close the gap to single digits at the half, 42-33.
Leading the Razorbacks in the first was Powell with 13 points off 5-of-9 shooting. Gulley finished the first with a game-high four assists, accounting for one third of the Razorbacks' first-half assists.
Arkansas started the second half much like it did the first. With 17:43 on the clock, Powell was called for a charge on what would have been a monster dunk, a play that was followed by back-to-back dunks by Madden and Scott. The plays gave Arkansas a 14-point lead, 50-36, and brought the Razorback crowd back to their feet. Arkansas would never let up the defensive pressure as they extended their lead to as much as 30 points when Clarke sank a three-pointer with 3:27 on the clock to the delight of the Arkansas crowd.
The Razorbacks hit the road this Saturday to face the South Carolina Gamecocks at 12:47 p.m. CT. The game will be televised on the SEC Network.