From Staff reports
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Mike Anderson’s brand of basketball at Arkansas is now known as the “Fastest 40 minutes.” It’s a variation of Nolan Richardson’s “40 minutes of hell” in the 1990s.
On Tuesday night in front of 4,525 fans at Bud Walton Arena, Northeastern State weathered the storm for the first 20 minutes of Anderson’s game plan. The final 20 minutes, though, were what did the RiverHawks in.
Arkansas outscored NSU by 20 points in the second half to send the Razorbacks to a 81-54 victory in an exhibition tune-up for both clubs.
“I thought in the second half we played our style of basketball,” said Anderson, Arkansas’ coach. “It was more up-tempo and there was a more concerted effort on the defensive end. A lot of our offense was a result of our effort on defense and that’s how we want to play.”
As a result of Arkansas’ high-pressure defense, the RiverHawks turned the ball over 22 times. Arkansas cashed in and scored 22 points off NSU turnovers.
Leading the way for the Razorbacks was Coty Clarke with 16 points on seven-of-nine shooting from the field. He also added seven rebounds.
Anthlon Bell added 15 points for Arkansas, and Alandise Harris was the only other Razorback in double figures with 10 points.
For the RiverHawks, Keon Littleton led the way with 14 points on five-of-seven shooting from the floor. Michael Harmon chipped in 10 points.
NSU’s returning starting point guard Bryton Hobbs was held to five points on one-of-13 shooting from the field.
As a team, NSU shot 35.2 percent (19 of 54) from the field. The RiverHawks were also 9 of 17 (52.9 percent) from the free-throw line.
Arkansas finished 31 of 71 from the floor, including 19 of 32 (59.4 percent) in the second half.
The Razorbacks pulled down 18 offensive rebounds, which turned into 22 second-chance points. Arkansas outscored NSU 20-0 in fast-break points.
NSU will begin its regular season on Saturday when it plays its first game in its brand new arena. The RiverHawks will take on Ecclesia at 7 p.m.