FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The confines of Bud Walton Arena again proved friendly for the Arkansas men’s basketball team Tuesday night, as the Razorbacks rebounded with a convincing 117-78 victory over Northwestern State.
A tenacious Arkansas defense forced a season-high 25 Demon turnovers, including 15 in the first half, as the Razorbacks scored their most points in a game in the Mike Anderson era.
After missing their first four attempts from the field, the Razorbacks proceeded to make nine of their next 11 to jump out to a 22-13 lead at the under-12 media timeout. The Demons used a burst of four three-pointers to go ahead 27-26 five minutes later, but a 15-0 run by Arkansas quickly silenced NSU, as the hosts finished the first 20 minutes with a 54-38 lead. Fifty-four points stood as the highest output of any half for the Razorbacks in the season, until the second half.
Arkansas netted 63 points in the final frame, scoring the first seven points of the half to extend the lead to 23, and continued to add on from there. The Razorbacks shot 55.7 percent for the game, as leading scorers Moses Kingsley and Dusty Hannahs tallied 21 points apiece. Kingsley also added 10 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season. Willy Kouassi narrowly missed out on his first double-double in an Arkansas uniform with 12 points on 5-for-6 shooting and nine rebounds.
Even though he was the fourth-leading scorer, perhaps the most valuable player on the court for Arkansas was Jabril Durham. The senior point guard had a career-high 14 points and 10 assists for a rare, scoring-dishing double-double – the first of its kind by a Razorback since Courtney Fortson had 14 and 11 vs. Florida on Jan. 21, 2010. Durham also tied a career best with five steals in a team-high 28 minutes on the floor.
“It was a lot of scoring going on. The game was up and down like we wanted to, guys give us quality minutes when we play that way. It’s good to see some guys knock some shots down other than Dusty and Bell. What I liked tonight is we didn’t live and die off of the three-point line. We shot the ball well and we did a lot of good things.” — Head coach Mike Anderson
“I knew I was going to have to step up, I’m always ready to step up. My job as a senior is to bring energy to this team. Every time I step out on the floor, I play as hard as I can. I’m all about winning and that’s what I came here for. I just want to win, I’ll do whatever it takes.” — Senior center Willy Kouassi
• Eight Razorbacks scored four-plus points in the first half and seven scored in double-figures for the first time since Jan. 2, 2001 vs. Maryland Eastern Shore (via @HogStats).
• Kingsley recorded his fourth double-double this season with 21 points and 10 rebounds. He is one of two SEC players averaging a double-double so far this year.
• It was the first time a Razorback reached Durham’s stat line of 14 points, 10 assists and five steals in the last 20 years (via @HogStats).
• 117 points was the most scored by Arkansas in the Mike Anderson era and the most by the Razorbacks since they had 130 vs. Alcorn State on Nov. 13, 2010.
• Manny Watkins (8) and Anthlon Bell (7) both had career highs on the glass.
• Keaton Miles tied a career high with 11 points. It was the most he has scored as a Razorback; the previous time he netted 11 was at West Virginia on Nov. 28, 2012.
• Lorenzo Jenkins got his first regular-season action for Arkansas, hitting one three-pointer in seven minutes of playing time.
Arkansas has a quick turnaround as the team travels to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to face Wake Forest on Friday, Dec. 4. The Razorbacks and Demon Deacons tip off at 6 p.m. CT.