FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Freshman guard Eric Ferguson scored 28 points, including six in the last four minutes, to help Arkansas hold off Athletes in Action for a 77-73 exhibition game victory on Wednesday.
Ferguson hit nine of 20 shots, including five of 10 three-pointers with 17 points coming in the first period when the Razorbacks built a 46-35 halftime advantage.
AIA came back to tie three times in the second half and took a 70-67 lead with 5:01 left on a three-pointer by Ryan Sears. Ferguson answered with a three with 3:44 left and his layup with 2:47 remaining gave UA a 72-70 lead. Following an AIA turnover, Blake Eddins nailed a three for a five-point advantage.
Saddi Washington converted a three-point play to cut the margin to two, but Arkansas got a free throw each from Ferguson and Carl Baker in the final minute to secure the victory.
Sophomore Michael Jones had 14 points, eight in the second half, on six of 11 shooting, including two of four three-pointers.
As a team, Arkansas shot just 41.2 percent from the field but hit 12 of 26 threes for a .462 percentage.
AIA shot 59.1 percent in the second half when 6-11 center Casey Shaw scored 12 of his 18 points on four of five shooting. Washington led AIA with 23 points and Stacy Harris added 13.
Senior forward Dionisio Gomez added 11 points and a team-high six rebounds for Arkansas while freshman Jonathon Modica started and had 10 points, four assists and four steals.
Freshman guard Kendrick Davis, UA’s regular shooting guard, was disciplined for missing class and did not dress out.
For the game, Arkansas had 19 assists, 14 turnovers and 13 steals, and was nine of 15 at the free throw line. AIA had 14 assists, 21 turnovers and seven steals, and was 13 of 19 at the line. AIA had a 38-32 rebounding edge. Ferguson and Baker had five boards each for the Razorbacks.
Arkansas is off until Nov. 16 when the Hogs play host to the Midwest All-Stars in a second exhibition game at 7 p.m. following the 1 p.m. home football game against Louisiana-Lafayette.