FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – In front of 9,493 fans at Bud Walton Arena, the No. 19 Arkansas Razorbacks opened the exhibition portion of their schedule by running and pressing their way to a 117-43 handling of the West Florida Argonauts. Six players scored in double digits for the Razorbacks, led by Michael Washington’s 22 points.
The sophomore also pulled down 10 rebounds for a double-double. Patrick Beverley added 17 points and was the Razorbacks’ leading assist man with nine helps.
The Razorbacks jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the first half, holding the Argonauts scoreless until a Ryan Henry lay-up just over four minutes into the game. Sonny Weems opened the game with a three-point basket and a Beverly three-pointer at the 18:14 mark gave the Razorbacks a 9-0 lead and forced West Florida head coach Don Hogan to call a timeout.
West Florida came out of the timeout with a 12-6 run, cutting the Arkansas lead to 11 with a three-pointer by Josh Jackson. The Razorbacks led 23-12.
The UA lead reached 20 on a pair of free throws by Darian Townes and the Razorbacks never looked back, capitalizing on 18 first-half turnovers by West Florida to take a 37-point lead into halftime, 60-23.
Washington, who was 9-of-14 from the floor for the game, scored seven of the last nine points for the Razorbacks in the first half to finish with nine points over the first 20 minutes. Weems led Arkansas with 10 first-half points, but did not play in the second half with a strained groin. Beverley had nine of his points in the first half.
The second half began with the Razorbacks continuing to pressure West Florida. The steady defense created easy points for Arkansas in the paint and around the basket. UA scored six points on three consecutive dunks at one point of the second half.
A three-point basket by Stefan Welsh stretched the UA lead to 83-31. The shot came in the middle of a 28-3 run that was capped by a Townes dunk.
Arkansas’ size caused problems all night for the Argonauts and it showed in the rebounds category. The Hogs collected twice as many rebounds as UWF, 54-27. The Razorbacks also outscored West Florida in the paint, 60-14.
The Razorbacks’ final basket, a dunk by Vincent Hunter, gave the team its biggest lead of the night and served as the final margin of victory.
Townes, Charles Thomas and Stefan Welsh ended the night in double digits. Townes finished with 12 points while Thomas and Welsh both tallied 11 points against the Argonauts.
West Florida was led in scoring by Henry’s 15 points. He was the only Argonaut to reach double-digit scoring in the game. The Arkansas defense limited West Florida to a 26.7 shooting clip from the field.
Coupled with the staggering defensive effort, the Razorbacks had 15 steals, forced 29 turnovers and outscored West Florida 32-4 in fast-break points.
Arkansas returns to Bud Walton Tuesday to face Campbellsville in its final exhibition game before tipping off the regular season Friday with a home against Wofford at 7:05 p.m. CT.