Arkansas Closes Mexico Trip with Win Over La S
BY ANDRES FOCIL
CANCUN, Mexico. — Playing a second rematch in two days, this time it was more of the same as Arkansas pounded La Salle, 101-61, Monday morning in the final contest of its four game trip to Mexico.
UA, 3-1 on the trip, was scheduled to play Quintanaroo, but instead faced La Salle for the second time, a team the Razorbacks beat 108-56 Saturday night. For the second time, Arkansas hit 40 of 80 shots from the field and gradually pulled away.
UA was supposed to play four different teams on its trip but ended up laying La Salle and Belize Teane twice each. Belize beat the Hogs Saturday morning, 73-69, before UA dominated the rematch in Del Carmen Sunday night, 80-51.
“First of all, I want to thank our fans,” head coach Stan Heath said. “We had more than 100 down here and it was very welcoming. The weekend was great for us. The practices were valuable and the games were valuable. I don’t know which was better. We had some learning curves thrown at us, and we responded and grew as a team. Most importantly, nobody got hurt.”
In the second game with La Salle, Arkansas got off to a slow start and Charles Tatum’s three gave the Razorbacks a 17-8 lead with one minute to play in the first period.
In the second quarter, UA broke it open. A Billy Pharis three, one of three he made in four attempts, and a Ronnie Brewer layup made it 26-10. A three by Brewer made it 37-12 with five minutes left in the half.
Arkansas led 49-20 at the break and continued to pull away. Kendrick Davis hit a three for a 61-29 lead and another three by Pharis made it 68-31 before the Razorbacks went to the fourth quarter with a 73-40 lead.
“We started off slow,” Heath said. “I think we had six turnovers in the first quarter, then we started defending and taking care of the ball, and we finished strong.”
Sophomore Jonathon Modica led a balanced effort with 14 points and three assists. He hit six of 12 shots. Pharis had 13 points and eight rebounds, and freshman Vincent Hunter had his second double-double of the weekend with 13 points and 10 rebounds. He had 13 and 13 in the first meeting with La Salle.
“I’m really pleased with our freshmen,” Heath said. “Vincent was the guy that was consistent all the way through.”
Brewer finished with seven points, five assists and two steals. Olu Famutimi had three points and two rebounds, making one of 10 shots.
Davis had 11 points, Jamar Blackmon 10 points, and Charles Tatum and Preston Cranford nine each with Tatum, who was three of three shooting, all threes, also recording 10 assists and three steals.
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