FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas had almost as many rebounds as points as the Razorbacks set a single-game school record for rebounds in Friday’s season-opening 81-44 victory over Jackson State.
The win gave head coach Stan Heath a victory in his first game as Arkansas’ coach in front of a crowd of 16,845.
The Razorbacks pounded the boards for 77 rebounds, breaking the school record of 75 set against Fort Chaffee in 1956. The total is also a record for Bud Walton Arena. UA also set an arena record with 48 defensive rebounds and missed the offensive record of 30 by just one.
Arkansas shot just 38.5 percent from the floor and turned the ball over 27 times, but the Razorbacks held Jackson State (0-1) to 21 percent shooting while forcing 19 turnovers. The big advantage was on the glass where the Hogs held a 77-29 rebounding edge.
JSU tied the game at 4-4, but the Hogs scored 19 straight points, eight by sophomore Michael Jones and five for freshman Kendrick Davis, to take a 23-4 lead. UA scored the last five points of the half to lead 41-16 at the break.
Arkansas had 42 rebounds at the half. Last year, UA’s highest total for a game was 40 in the win over Maine.
“In the first 20 minutes we set a good tone by generating offense from defense,” Heath said. “Jon Modica became very aggressive on the glass and he played very actively. We made a lot of mistakes with turnovers and fouls. We aren’t near what we should be offensively, but in rebounding we are well ahead of where we were last season.”
The Tigers never got closer and Arkansas’ largest lead was the final margin on a pair of Jamar Blackmon free throws with 3.6 seconds to play.
Davis finished with a game-high 13 points, followed by Jones with 12, and Alonzo Lane and Jonathon Modica with 11 each. Modica also had a game-high 13 rebounds. Lane and Dionisio Gomez had seven boards each.
All 13 Razorbacks played with 12 scoring and claiming at least one rebound.
Ishmael Joyce led JSU with nine points.
Arkansas travels for the first time next week when the Razorbacks visit Oral Roberts for a 7 p.m. game on Tuesday.