FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) – Jonathon Modica scored 20 points, and Arkansas used a stifling zone defense to pull away from Mississippi for a 71-58 win Wednesday night.
The Razorbacks (14-5, 3-3 Southeastern Conference) trailed 19-17 with 9:25 remaining in the first half before scoring 16 straight points. Modica, Steven Hill and Charles Thomas each had four points during the run.
Dwayne Curtis finally made a layup for the Rebels with 2:39 to play, but Arkansas led 36-21 at halftime. Mississippi never pulled closer than 10 the rest of the way.
The Razorbacks’ zone was crucial during their first-half run. Guards Ronnie Brewer (6-foot-7) and Dontell Jefferson (6-foot-5) disrupted Mississippi on the perimeter, and Arkansas conceded few opportunities inside. Hill and Darian Townes each had two blocks before the break.
The Rebels committed 13 of their 17 turnovers in the first half. They shot only 40 percent from the field for the game. The Razorbacks finished at 54 percent.
Reserve Clarence Sanders scored 12 points to lead the Rebels, who have lost two straight after a seven-game winning streak. Curtis, who entered Wednesday’s contest averaging 14.8 points per game, was held to 10. He also had 10 rebounds.
Brewer had 19 points and seven rebounds for Arkansas, and Townes finished with 13 points and four blocks. Hill had five blocks and Jefferson had nine assists for the Razorbacks.
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