FAYETTEVILLE – Behind a dominant performance by junior Marshawn Powell, the University of Arkansas men’s basketball team defeated Christian Brothers, 76-54, Tuesday night at Bud Walton Arena in its final exhibition game of the preseason.
Powell had 26 points on 11-for-17 shooting from the floor and showcased his athleticism on the defensive end with four blocks, helping Arkansas overcome a slow start to overwhelm the patient Bucs.
Christian Brothers kept things close for much of the game, turning the ball over just seven times with its deliberate offense and getting balanced scoring from its starting five. The Razorbacks countered with a strong 56.6% field goal percentage, and controlled the glass. Arkansas out-rebounded Christian Brothers 38-25 in the game, and had six different players with four rebounds or more.
"These are two teams that play opposite styles," Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson said. "For us to score 76 points shows our efficiency."
Two Christian Brothers free throws with 8:27 to play in the game cut the Arkansas lead to five points, but the Razorbacks scored 14 points in the next five minutes to open up a 68-51 lead with just over three minutes to play.
"Fatigue was a really big factor late," Anderson said. "Our guys off the bench gave us really good minutes."
Sophomore guard Rickey Scott had a strong game offensively, piling up eight points, eight assists and six rebounds. Julysses Nobles also facilitated from the backcourt with nine points, six rebounds and four assists.
It was Powell, however, who keyed the Razorbacks’ attack from both ends of the floor. With Arkansas in a full court press early in the second half, Powell pickpocketed a Bucs guard and soared in for a one-handed slam to put the Razorbacks ahead 39-34 and spark an 11-0 run. He was a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line and his 26 points came in just 25 minutes of play.
The Bucs started quickly in the first half, jumping out to a 16-10 lead off of 3-of-7 shooting from behind the arc. The Razorbacks stormed back, however, taking an 18-17 lead after an 8-1 run powered by six points from Powell. Arkansas used a 10-0 spurt late in the first half to open up a 35-24 lead, and headed into the locker room with a 35-26 cushion.
The Razorbacks had 10 different players score on the night, and had 18 assists to just nine turnovers. Arkansas also shot 12-of-13 from the free throw line.
Freshman guard B.J. Young had seven points, four rebounds and three assists, and sophomore Kikko Haydar had eight points on 2-of-4 shooting from three.
After its 3-of-7 start Christian Brothers shot just 8-of-28 from three, and Arkansas held the Bucs to 35.2% from the floor for the game.
Harry Green led the Buccaneers with 14 points, and Michael Drake added nine points and seven rebounds.
Arkansas officially opens up its season this Friday, Nov. 11, when it takes on USC Upstate inside Bud Walton Arena at 7 p.m.