FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Fueled by scoring runs in both halves, Arkansas pulled away for an 89-67 win over Delaware State Saturday afternoon.
The Hogs now sit at 4-1 on the season while DSU, the three-time defending Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion, is 2-3.
Darian Townes led the Hogs in scoring with 18 points while Arkansas set a season high for points scored and assists (24), and a season low with 10 turnovers. The game marks the fifth straight in which Townes has made at least 50 percent of his shots from the field (7-9) and scored in double figures. He also tacked on a team-high seven rebounds.
Charles Thomas and Stefan Welsh added 15 and 12 points, respectively.
A 7-0 run at the end of the first half capped by a Patrick Beverly layup gave the Hogs a nine-point lead at the break, 43-34. Half way through the second half, Arkansas took a 72-46 lead with a 19-4 run, which included three-pointers by Welsh and Michael Washington.
Delaware State’s .531 field goal percentage is the best Arkansas has allowed this season, but the Razorbacks forced 21 turnovers while shooting 56.9 percent (33-58) on their end of the floor.
Sonny Weems recorded a career-high five steals while Welsh and Gary Ervin combined for 13 assists with no turnovers. Welsh’s seven assists are a career high and his four three-point buckets match his personal best.
Two quick turnovers by Delaware State in the first three minutes gave the Hogs an early 7-3 advantage. A steal by Steven Hill, two free throws each by Thomas and Beverley after a DSU technical foul put the Hogs up 11-3 with 15 minutes left to play.
Seven unanswered points by the Hornets brought the score to 11-10. Delaware State tied the game at 12 with 12:30 to play on a jumper by Roy Bright, his seventh point of the day.
Wright hit a three with 10 minutes to play to put Hornets up 17-16. Arkansas, after a turnover, answered with an Ervin three, but a three by Donald Johnson put DSU up 20-19 with 8:30 to play.
Ervin had a steal and made a long pass to Townes under the basket. Townes was fouled and made both his free throws to give the Hogs the 21-20 lead, but Johnson hit another jumper to give the Hornets a 22-21 advantage.
Following a Washington free throw, Johnson hit his second three of the game for a 25-22 DSU lead. Welsh tied it and gave Arkansas a 28-25 lead with consecutive threes.
Two made free throws by Darrell Mosley tied the game at 29, but Welsh hit his third three of the game to put the Hogs up 32-29. After another Hornet bucket, Weems hit a three and Townes scored inside for a 36-31 Arkansas lead.
With a minute to play, Townes made a layup off a Welsh pass and was fouled. His made free throw gave Arkansas a 39-33 lead. Townes scored again off a DSU turnover and Beverley converted a layup for a 10-point advantage.
Arkansas opened the second half with a 6-2 run with all three baskets coming from Thomas. An Ervin assist to Hill put the Hogs up 51-36.
Two Washington free throws and a three-point play by Townes capped a 17-8 run to push the margin to 60-42 with 14:10 remaining.
Bright led Delaware State with 28 points on 11-of-21 shooting.
The Razorbacks return to the court Wednesday to face Missouri in Bud Walton Arena at 7:05. The game is being televised by ARSN.