FAYETTEVILLE – Junior Marvell Waithe recorded a double-double in only his second game as a Razorback Monday night to lead his team to a 90-47 victory over Florida Gulf Coast at Bud Walton Arena. Waithe finished the game with 10 points and 13 rebounds to be the first Razorback this season to record a double-double.
With the victory, the Hogs move to 2-0 on the season while Florida Gulf Coast falls to 2-2.
“I’m proud of our team tonight,” said Arkansas head coach John Pelphrey. “Florida Gulf Coast was better than they showed. This was a small step and I’m proud of our team. They (Florida Gulf Coast) are an outstanding transition team and we did well defending that. I’m pleased with the effort and focus. Even though we ran into a little foul trouble early, we continued to stick to the game plan."
Early in the first half, the Razorbacks actually gave up the first bucket of the ball game to the Eagles before going on a huge 20-0 run over the first four minutes of the game . A rain of three-pointers by senior Marcus Britt, Waithe and junior Rotnei Clarke, who alone went 3-4 from behind the arc during that span, gave the Hogs a very comfortable lead at just the 15:34 mark. As a team, the Hogs began the contest shooting 5-for-6 from three-point land.
Falling in love with the three, however, may have been the reason for the Hogs cold streak midway through the half, shooting only 4-for-15 from the field over the rest of the half. Luckily, Florida Gulf Coast was just as cold from the field. They ended the half shooting only 23 percent.
Even without the quick buckets seen earlier in the game, the Razorbacks were able to continue to play solid defense that has been seen so far this year, racking up 13 turnovers and nine steals and taking a 37-18 lead into the break.
At the half, Clarke led all scorers, once again, with 12, all from three-point territory. Waith followed up with five of his own to lead the rest of the team that saw seven players find the point column in the first half.
What seemed like a somewhat slim margin at the start of the second half didn’t seem so small after only eight minutes as the Razorbacks went on another 20 point run. This time getting contributions from all over as the team went on their second 20-2 run of the night. At the 17:24 mark, sophomore Julysses Nobles knocked down a layup to make it 45-20. The Eagles responded right back with their own layup by Reed Baker. Baker finished the night with 14 points to lead his team.
The Hogs then started the run. A couple of three-pointers by Nobles and Britt, followed by Clarke jumper and yet another Britt three-pointer, saw the team’s 23 point lead balloon to a 34 point lead in just two minutes. After a layup by sophomore Delvon Johnson and a monster dunk by sophomore Glenn Bryant, the Hog run was capped, once again, by another three-pointer, this time from Jeff Peterson. Peterson finished with six points, all from three-pointers. That 41 point lead was clearly all the Razorbacks needed as their lead never dipped below 34 for the rest of the game.
Three Razorbacks finished with double-figure point totals on the night. Clarke led the team with 14, while Jemal Farmer had a huge second half to finish with 12, while Waithe rounded out his double-double night with 10 points.
The Hogs only have 48 hours before their next game as they will take on Southeast Missouri State on Wednesday night at Bud Walton Arena. Tip-off for that game is scheduled 7 p.m. For all coverage of the Razorback men’s basketball team, be sure to log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.