FAYETTEVILLLE, Ark. – Junior Michael Qualls scored a career-high 22 points and senior Rashad Madden filled up the stat sheet to lead No. 25 Arkansas to a 89-73 win over North Texas on Friday night at Bud Walton Arena.
Three days removed from its first game as a ranked team since 2007, which resulted in a road win at SMU, Arkansas improved to 5-0 with its 18th straight home win over a non-conference opponent. North Texas now stands at 4-2.
Qualls’ career-high night started with two three-pointers in the opening two minutes of the game, as he finished 7-of-13 from the floor with a quartet of trifectas. With sophomore Bobby Portis in foul trouble, Qualls took control on the boards with a game-high nine rebounds, playing a big part in Arkansas’ 47-34 edge on the glass that included 21 offensive rebounds.
Entering the game fourth in the SEC in assists, Madden passed out a game-high seven helpers during Arkansas’ 21-assist night that featured just six turnovers. Madden added a season-high 15 points and hauled in five rebounds with no turnovers over his 26 minutes. Madden scored or had a hand in 32 points, including 21 in the first half.
Holding a one-point lead, 59-58, with just over nine minutes left, Arkansas limited North Texas to points in just two of its next 11 possessions while finally finding its rhythm on the offensive end to unleash a 22-5 run that provided the difference. Six different Razorbacks scored during the run.
Junior Anthlon Bell was the third Razorback in double figures with 15 points, adding to his SEC-leading three-point total with four trifectas. Classmate Jacorey Williams continued to provide a huge spark off the bench with nine points and finished his 22 minutes with a +22 plus/minus rating. Sophomore Moses Kingsley also added nine points and eight rebounds off the pine in 21 minutes.
Worthy Of A Hog Call (#WPS)
Arkansas entered the game averaging an SEC-best 21.3 assists and hit that mark with 21 helpers on the night. It marked the third game already this season the Razorbacks have passed out 20+ assists, while coach Anderson-led teams are now 84-1 all-time when hitting that mark.
@RazorbackMBB Quick Hits
• The win was Arkansas’ 380th all-time as a ranked team.
• Arkansas is now 14-0 all-time against North Texas.
• Arkansas has won 18 straight home games against non-conference teams.
• First time Arkansas has scored 78+ points in the first five games since 1993-94.
• Arkansas has trailed in the second half for 16 seconds on the year.
• A player has scored 20 or more points in four of five games.
• Qualls’ career-high 22 points marked his fifth career 20-point game and second of the year.
• Qualls has reached double figures four times this year, good for a tie with Portis.
• Bell brought his SEC-leading three-pointers made total to 16 and is just three shy of 100 for his career.
• Bell has 103 points in his last 123 minutes at Bud Walton Arena.
• Bell has made four three-pointers three times on the year.
• Madden has led Arkansas in assists in four games.
Coach Anderson Postgame Sound
“Tonight was one of those games we had to grind out. North Texas came in and executed in the halfcourt really well. At the half we emphasized putting more pressure on the ball and speeding up the pace. The last 10 minutes looked more like our style of play, but give North Texas credit for how they played.”
The Razorbacks will have less than 48 hours to prepare for MAAC favorite Iona (4-1) who will visit Bud Walton Arena on Sunday for a 2:30 p.m. tip. The Gaels are coming off a record-setting win over Delaware State in which they set program single-game records for points scored (126), three-point field goals made (24) and assists (35). The game can be seen live on the SEC Network.