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Running past the Rattlers

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Running past the Rattlers

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Junior Rotnei Clarke and sophomore Marshawn Powell led the University of Arkansas men’s basketball team with 14 points each to a convincing, 94-55, victory over the Florida A&M Rattlers at Bud Walton Arena on Wednesday night.

The Razorbacks improve to 16-9 on the year while Florida A&M falls to 11-15. The Hogs end their non-conference schedule 10-0 at Bud Walton Arena this season.

"I am certainly happy to close out our non-conference schedule that way," Arkansas head coach John Pelphrey said. "Florida A&M had won four straight games and was playing their best basketball of the season. I thought that our defense played well in the first half and that the team was unselfish across the board. It was nice to be able to play everybody."

Arkansas jumped out to a huge lead as it hit each of its first six shots; including three three-point baskets in building a 15-3 lead. The Hogs held Florida A&M to just one made field goal for more than 10 minutes to start the game and had a 27-4 lead with 9:53 to play in the first half. The stunning Razorback defense kept Florida A&M to just 11 first half points, the fewest by an Arkansas opponent in more than two years, and to just 14 percent shooting from the floor.

Florida A&M played much better in the second half, but the athleticism of the Razorbacks was too much to overcome. The Rattlers tallied 44 second-half points to come close to the Razorbacks’ 49, but the 45-11 Arkansas lead at the break was too much to overcome.

Arkansas had four players in double figures on the night including Clarke and Powell’s 14. Delvon Johnson nearly went for a double-double with 13 points and a game high nine rebounds while Jeff Peterson tallied 10 points, six rebounds, five assists and no turnovers. As a group, Arkansas’ starting five accounted for 60 points and were 25-of-32 (.782) from the floor, 8-of-11 (.727) from three-point range and grabbed 29 rebounds.

Clarke continued his assault on the Razorback record books with his 14-point performance. The junior moved to 24th on Arkansas’ all-time scoring list, passing Mario Credit in the game. His first of three three-point baskets also gave 250 from range for his career.

Powell and Johnson also had memorable nights for the Razorbacks. Powell’s five assists are a career high and mark the first time in his two years at Arkansas that he has been a leader in the category. Johnson recorded five blocked shots in the game, the seventh time that he has done that this season, which give him 85 for the year and tie him with Oliver Miller (1990) and Andrew Lang (1987) for fifth on Arkansas’ single season list.

Sophomore Glenn Bryant was Arkansas’ leader off the bench as he scored eight points and grabbed seven rebounds in just 15 minutes of action.

For Florida A&M, Avery Moore was the Rattlers leading scorer with 11 points .

The Razorbacks return to the court on Saturday when they travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala., to take on the SEC West leading Alabama Crimson Tide at 6 p.m.



Sports Category : Basketball (M)