FAYETTEVILLE – A three-pointer by senior co-captain Kikko Haydar on the first possession of his first career start set the tone for the Arkansas men’s basketball team on Tuesday night, as it returned to Bud Walton Arena with a wire-to-wire 111-65 win over Southeastern Louisiana to extend its home win streak to 18 games.
Arkansas built a 52-32 lead at the half and continued to pour it on in the second half, opening with a 29-3 run while holding the Lions without a field goal for the first 7:20 of the period. The 111 points scored is the second 100-point game under head coach Mike Anderson and the 35th in Bud Walton Arena history.
With the win, the Razorbacks improved to 5-2 on the season and will now turn their attention to Saturday’s showdown with ACC foe Clemson (7-1). The game is slated for 1 p.m. and can be seen live on Comcast Sports Southeast (CSS).
"I thought our guys came out and really executed the game plan and that was to kind of ratchet up the defense and really create tempo to our liking,” said Anderson, who saw his team turn 24 Southeastern Louisiana turnovers into 41 points. "We shot the ball better. When we shoot it, I think it really triggers into your defense. Our defense was pretty active tonight.”
The Razorbacks entered as the SEC’s top scoring team at 84.8 points per game and more than lived up to that billing, connecting on 62 percent (38-61) from the field, 50 percent (9-18) from three and 77 percent (26-34) at the free throw line as all 14 players registered a field goal.
Anderson unveiled the team’s fourth different lineup of the season, starting five players from the state of Arkansas. The aforementioned Haydar and his former Fayetteville High School teammate Fred Gulley III combined to score 14 of the team’s first 16 points less than five minutes into the game and went onto finish with nine points each. The duo provided a big spark to Anderson’s #Fastest40 style of play that forced 24 turnovers, as Arkansas improved to 16-1 under Anderson when forcing 20+ miscues.
Fueled by the 41-9 margin in points off turnovers, Arkansas had 42 points in the paint and received 63 points from its bench, which supplied a double figure scorer for the seventh consecutive game to open the year. Sophomore Michael Qualls’s 16 points matched a game-high, while senior Coty Clarke reached double figures off the bench for the second straight game with 15 points, including 10 in the first half. Qualls is the only Razorback to reach double-digits in all seven games.
Part of the all-Arkansas starting lineup and one of two Razorbacks to start every game this season, freshman Bobby Portis turned in his third straight double figure game with a team-high 16 points, highlighted by 10 in the second half. Making his first start of the year, junior Rashad Madden rounded out the quartet of double figure scorers with 10 points.
Southeastern Louisiana (3-4) finished with 11 three-pointers, but finished with more turnovers (24) than made field goals (22) on the night. The Lions shot 34 percent (22-64) from the field and were led by Jeffery Ricard’s 14 points off the bench.
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