FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas made its first four shots of the game, answered one run midway through the first half then closed the period with an 18-5 run to knock off Southern Mississippi, 77-35, in Bud Walton Arena on Wednesday.
The win improves the Razorbacks to 4-2 while USM drops to 1-4.
The 35 points allowed are the fewest for an Arkansas opponent since the Razorbacks beat SMU 47-33 in 1981.
The Hogs opened the game with consecutive buckets by Jonathon Modica, Steven Hill and two scores by Ronnie Brewer to jump out to an 8-3 lead. The Golden Eagles tied it at 11-11 on a layup by Courtney Beasley at the 12:01 mark.
A dunk and a three by Brewer highlighted a 10-2 Arkansas run to put the Hogs up 21-13 before Kendaris Pelton pulled USM within five with a trey.
Over the last seven-and-a-half minutes of the half, the Razorbacks outscored USM 15-5 to lead 39-21 at the break. Brewer and Jonathon Modica each had two threes in the run.
UA shot 60 percent in the period (15-25) while holding the Golden Eagles to 34.8 percent (8-23) and forcing eight turnovers.
Brewer’s twisting three at the buzzer gave him 15 points in the half on six-of-nine shooting.
In the second period, UA was only slightly cooler from the field. The Hogs made 13-of-23 shots (.565) and finished the game with a .583 mark (28-48). Meanwhile, USM struggled even more, making only four-of-25 shots (.160) to finish the game 12-of-48 (.250).
Arkansas forced 19 turnovers, had 12 steals and blocked eight shots.
UA started the second half with a 12-1 run to go up 51-22 with 14:15 remaining. Darian Townes had eight points all in the last two minutes of that stretch.
The Razorbacks gradually pulled away, taking a 57-27 lead on a jump hook by Steven Hill at 11:53 and stretching the margin to 70-30 on a three by Vincent Hunter at 5:16.
All 12 Razorbacks played a minimum of four minutes with nine playing at least 13 minutes.
Brewer finished with 16 points, five rebounds and three assists in 29 minutes. Modica and Townes each scored 14 on five-of-eight shooting. Modica matched Brewer for team rebounding honors with five.
Hunter added 10 points on four-of-five shooting, and Charles Thomas was three-of-three from the floor to finish with nine points. Dontell Jefferson had eight assists and two steals. Hill finished with four points, four rebounds, four blocked shots and three steals.
Beasley paced USM with 10 points while Shawn Simpson had a game-high 10 rebounds.
Arkansas plays host to Missouri Friday at 7:05 p.m. in a game televised by ARSN.
Download: usm box.pdf