FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Darian Townes’ two free throws with seven seconds left forced an extra three minutes, but freshman guard Stefan Welsh scored three of the five total points scored in overtime as his Red team held on for a 97-94 victory in Arkansas’ Red-White Game on Friday.
“The overtime session was so game-like,” head coach Stan Heath said. “This is such a good teaching tool for us. The fans were interested, I was interested, and the guys wanted to keep playing. This was a win-win for everyone.”
The Red team scored the first seven points of the game, but the White scored 13 of the next 18 to take a one point lead. From there, the game was very competitive with neither team taking more than a six-point lead. In fact, in the second half, neither team led by more than three until the 5:13 mark when freshman Patrick Beverley’s three gave the White an 81-77 lead.
A three-point play by Beverley with 2:51 to go made it 89-84, but Sonny Weems scored four straight for the Red. After Townes pushed the lead back to three with a pair of free throws, Vincent Hunter canned a three to tie it at 91-91 with 1:03 remaining.
Hunter’s layup with 25 seconds to go put the Red ahead before Townes tied it with two more free throws.
Welsh made a free throw 20 seconds into the three-minute extra period and scored on a layup 19 seconds later to give the Red a 96-93 lead. Townes made one of two free throws to cut the margin to two, but that was all of the scoring for the White.
Gary Ervin made one of two free throws with 14 seconds left for the final margin.
Between the free throws by Townes and Ervin, Sonny Weems and Steven Hill recorded blocked shots for the White, and Hunter had a rejection of a Beverley three in the final second.
“There was a lot of balance from an offensive standpoint,” Heath said. “To play so early after just one week of practice, there were a lot of positives. We want our freshmen to be confident and aggressive. Soon they will have to realize if that is a good shot to take or not, and how to use their teammates. We would rather have them start off aggressive and then scale them back.”
Weems, the junior college transfer from UA-Fort Smith, scored a game-high 28 points on 11-of-20 shooting. Welsh finished with 18 points. Ervin had 17 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Hunter had 15 points and 14 rebounds, and Hill 11 points, nine boards and two blocked shots. Freshman Michael Washington added eight points and six rebounds.
For the White, Beverley made eight-of-22 shots for 25 points. Townes had 21 points, 16 rebounds and six blocked shots. Charles Thomas had 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Sean McCurdy 14 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Sophomore Cyrus McGowan added eight points and five rebounds, and junior Preston Cranford made a pair of threes for six points.
Download: red white box.pdf