FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Keyed by a 20-2 run in the first half and a 23-2 spurt in the second half, the Arkansas men’s basketball team picked up its second straight win to start the season with a convincing 83-53 victory over visiting ACC member Wake Forest Wednesday night at Bud Walton Arena.
Arkansas and head coach Mike Anderson’s #Fastest40 style of play was on display in the 100th game of Anderson’s career as leader of the Razorbacks, as six different players reached double figures, highlighted by 45 points from the bench. The Razorbacks came away with 13 steals on 20 Wake Forest miscues that led directly to 33 points.
The 2-0 start is the fifth in a row for Arkansas, while Anderson has started 2-0 in each of his 13 seasons as a head coach.
With the score tied 10-10 just under seven minutes into the game, the Razorbacks embarked on their most impressive defensive stretch of the game over the next 4:06 to key the game-changing 20-2 run. Sophomore Manuale Watkins was the catalyst to the run, coming away with four steals and a defensive rebound to spark seven consecutive stops for the home team. Arkansas’ activeness on defense translated to fast court points and open looks, as it knocked down 7-of-9 from the field during the run, including a pair threes by freshman Anton Beard.
Arkansas took a 44-30 lead into the locker room and blew the game wide open with a 20-2 run that was again sparked by defense. The Demon Deacons made just 1-of-13 of the field and committed six turnovers over a 9:51 span while sophomore Moses Kingsley scored seven straight during the run to finish as one of six Razorbacks in double-digits. The end result was Arkansas’ largest lead of the game (35), at 77-42.
Senior Rashad Madden led the way with 11 points, while 12 of the 13 players that got into the game for Arkansas scored. Madden was joined in double-digits by classmate Alandise Harris, junior Jacorey Williams, sophomore Bobby Portis, Kingsley and Beard. Williams, Kingsley and Beard all came off the bench while junior Jabril Durham passed out a team-high six assists off the pine.
Worthy Of A Hog Call (#WPS)
Wake Forest went seven straight possessions without a point in the first half during Arkansas 20-2 run. Sophomore Manny Watkins was all over the floor during that run, coming up with four steals and two points over that span. Watkins finished with five steals, which is two more than he had all of last season.
@RazorbackMBB Quick Hits
• Coach Anderson has started 2-0 all 13 years as a head coach.
• Tonight marked the 100th game with Mike Anderson the head coach.
• Arkansas has now beaten 45 straight unranked non-conference opponents at home.
• Wake Forest out-rebounded its first two opponents by an average of 21 rebounds while the teams tied on the boards, 36-36, tonight.
• Arkansas is shooting 55 percent (66-121) from the floor and 52 percent (15-29) from three through the first two games.
• Six players reached double figures while eight different players have done so through two games.
• Senior Alandise Harris and sophomore Bobby Portis have reached double figures in both games.
• Junior Jabril Durham has led the team in assists both games.
• Junior Jacorey Williams’ double figure performance was his first in the last 41 games.
Coach Anderson Postgame Sound
“Tonight was the type of defense we need to bring game-in and game-out. Every guy that came into the game was active and had a defense-first mentality. What I like the most about tonight’s win is that everyone that came in contributed. That’s the type of team I know we can be.”
• The Razorbacks had 13 steals, following their 14 in the season opener.
• Coach Anderson-led teams now have over 4,000 steals in his 398 career games.
• Over coach Anderson’s 100 games at Arkansas, Arkansas has won the turnover battle 85 times.
• Arkansas forced 20 turnovers for the second straight game is 21-1 when doing so under Anderson.
• Sophomore Manuale Watkins led the way with five steals.
Arkansas won’t have much time to rest before it hosts Delaware State on Friday night. Tip is slated for 7 p.m. and can be seen on SEC Network+.