12/22/2011 – Tyler Maland, Athletic Media Relations
FAYETTEVILLE — Behind an offensive explosion from sophomore guard Rickey Scott, the University of Arkansas men’s basketball team defeated Louisiana Tech, 77-63, Thursday night at Bud Walton Arena. The Razorbacks moved to 7-3 with their third straight win, while the Bulldogs fell to 7-6.
Arkansas improved to 7-0 on the season at Bud Walton Arena. The Razorbacks had three players score in double figures and shot 48.4 percent from the field while holding Louisiana Tech to 37.7 percent shooting.
Scott led the team with 18 points on 8-of-16 shooting, but it was his athleticism and energy that keyed a Razorback run at the end of the first half and helped lead the team to victory.
“I was proud of our guys tonight,” said Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson after the game. “In the first half you really got to see Hog Ball.”
With the team down 28-26 and just under four minutes left in the opening half, Scott started a spurt by rising above a Bulldogs defender to finish one-handed at the rim. Junior guard Julysses Nobles got in on the affair moments later with a steal and high-flying dunk, and Scott continued the run with a jumper to put Arkansas up 34-31. On the very next possession, Nobles lobbed a pass towards the baseline, and Scott soared in above the defense to finish the play with a thunderous two-handed dunk. Arkansas forced a Bulldogs turnover on the next possession and Nobles fed freshman BJ Young with another lob, which Young athletically finished in one motion to put the home crowd in a frenzy.
It was a 14-5 run to finish the half for Arkansas, and in four minutes the Razorbacks turned a two point deficit into a 40-33 halftime lead.
Louisiana Tech was not easily defeated in the second half. The Bulldogs got several key baskets from freshman Raheem Appleby, and cut the Razorback lead to one point, 56-55, with 9:46 to play. Nobles answered the call with a three-pointer to give the Razorbacks some breathing room, but the Bulldogs again cut the lead to two points, 61-59, with 8:03 to play.
Arkansas dominated the remaining eight minutes to earn the win. Freshman Rashad Madden scored five straight points, freshman Devonta Abron added a basket, Scott hit back-to-back jumpers, and sophomore Mardracus Wade knocked down a three-pointer with just over two minutes to play. The Razorbacks went on a 16-4 run in those final eight minutes to win handily, 77-63.
Coach Anderson commented that the Razorbacks’ superior conditioning and defensive effort paid dividends at the end of the game.
“Defense was the difference in the game,” Anderson said. “Fatigue was a big factor down the stretch.”
Arkansas struggled to make shots early in the game and trailed 17-6 just over six minutes in, but used its defense to get the offense going. The Razorbacks went on a 14-2 run to take a 20-19 lead on a Madden jumper with 8:40 to play in the half. The Razorbacks had separate runs of 10-0, 12-3 and 13-4 in the game.
Scott led the Razorbacks in scoring for the first time in his career. His 18 points included three dunks, and Scott added three rebounds, two assists and two blocks. Young was also efficient offensively, tallying 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting and dishing out three assists.
Madden scored nine points with seven rebounds, and Abron netted 10 with five boards. Marvell Waithe supplied energy on both ends of the floor and scored seven points on 3-of-5 shooting.
Appleby led the Bulldogs with 23 points on 10-for-22 shooting. Arkansas held Louisiana Tech to just 21.7 percent shooting from behind the arc.
After a holiday break, the Razorbacks return to action Wednesday, Dec. 28, for a 7 p.m. game against Charlotte inside Bud Walton Arena. For more information about Razorback basketball, please log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.