FAYETTEVILLE – Sophomore BJ Young scored 23 points to lead the University of Arkansas Razorbacks basketball team to a 112-63 victory over Longwood in the first game of the Las Vegas Invitational at Bud Walton Arena, Sunday.
Offensively the Razorbacks were paced by Young, who tallied his 23 points in 20 minutes of play. This was Young’s seventh career game scoring 20 points or more. Freshman Anthlon Bell came off the bench to add a career-high 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting. This was the first time under head coach Mike Anderson that the Razorbacks scored 100 points. Anderson credited the scoring to the energy of the team.
“We played with great energy,” Anderson said. “I thought that we had a great team effort and we paid attention to the little details.”
“The Fastest 40 Minutes in Basketball” was in full effect from the opening tip as the Hogs started the game on a 10-3 run that included two Young layups. After the pace started to slow, the Lancers fought back into the game and made the score 14-10. As Longwood started to control the pace, the freshman scorer, Bell, started to catch fire, nailing a three to make the score 17-10. This led to a 12-0 Razorback run that included another three-pointer from Bell. He finished the half two-of-three from three point range. Anderson again talked about the ability of the bench to score points.
“The bench is the best component of our team,” Anderson said. “Bell is ready to come in and play well. Our bench can put a lot of pressure on teams.”
Arkansas used a swarming defense to force 16 turnovers in the first half. These turnovers led to easy shots on the offensive end as the Hogs shot a blazing 58 percent from the field. The scoring was led by Young who piled in 16 of the Razorbacks 55 points by the break. This was Young’s 28th double-digit scoring game as a Razorback.
The second half started the same way that the first ended, with Arkansas scoring off of forced turnovers and missed baskets. Longwood turned the ball over four times in the first four minutes of the half and this led to a 21-6 run to start the half. During the run Marshawn Powell was able to establish his dominance in the paint. The junior used his size to score nine of his 16 points in the second half. Coach Anderson talked about seeing the improvement in Powell.
“You can see the improvement in each outing,” Anderson said. “He is starting to show what he is capable of.”
The game continued with a slew of fast break dunks as 11 Razorbacks scored points, including another seven in the second half from Young. The sophomore also tallied five assists and did not have a turnover in the 112-63 win.
“BJ had an efficient game,” Anderson said. “You can tell that he was hungry to play. He is capable of scoring 15 or 20 points on any given night.”
The Razorbacks continue the Las Vegas Invitational on Tuesday night when they host Florida A&M at 7:00 p.m. in Bud Walton Arena. The Invitational continues in Las Vegas on Friday when the Hogs face Arizona State at 6:00 p.m.