PISTOIA, Italy – Three up, three down, one to go.
Mardracus Wade hit two big 3-pointers en route to a team-high 19 points as Arkansas used balanced scoring to storm away late and down BC Atlelas Kanuas 84-67 Tuesday night at the Pallazetto dello Sport Arena.
B.J. Young added 12 points, Coty Clarke a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds, Michael Qualls 11 points and Jacorey Williams 10 points in the Razorbacks' third win in as many nights.
"Basketball is a game of momentum and I thought at that time it was going back and forth and I think that was great – that we were in a game with some adversity and that was nip-and-tuck," Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson said. "He (Wade) makes a couple of shots to give us a little cushion and I thought our defense fed off of that."
It was the second straight night the two teams played with the Razorbacks winning 95-84 Monday night.
Anderson made the decision to sit out rehabbing Marshawn Powell instead of playing him three games in three nights.
"Over here I said I would play him accordingly," Anderson said. "Three games in three days would have been pretty taxing on a guy. This is also a great opportunity to have a lot of different combinations play. I started a different line-up in the first half and the second half just to see how guys would respond coming off the bench.
"Again we need him ready for October when we get ready to play and that (resting him) was expected," Anderson continued. "We'll rest him up the next couple of days. I don't know if we will even play him in the last game."
Arkansas led just 52-49 midway through third quarter before Wade buried his 3-pointers on consecutive trips down the court.
That pushed the Razorbacks' lead to 58-49 and the advantage was 63-55 entering the fourth quarter.
Arkansas essentially put the game away by forcing five straight turnovers to open the fourth quarter and its lead crested at 82-60 when Clarke hit two free throws with 3:30 left in the game.
"We have got some quality depth and those guys did a great job coming in and giving us some great big minutes," Anderson said.
It was the first game on the tour when Arkansas did not shoot over 50 percent from the field.
The Razorbacks made 30-of-70 field goal attempts, 4-of-14 3-pointers and 13-of-19 free throws.
"Three games in three days with a seven-hour time difference so you knew those guys were going to eventually hit the wall," Anderson said. "The young guys are excited about being over here playing and I think we saw the effects tonight when we saw fatigue creeping in.
"We also were playing against a team that is pretty smart basketball team," Anderson added. "They got us down in the first quarter and we fought to get up four points by halftime. I thought in the second half that we really kicked it in gear."
Wade was 4-of-7 from the field and 9-of-11 from the free throw line in the game and also had four steals.
"This is his second year with me and I think he kind of has an idea of what to expect," Anderson said. "He is a guy that has worked on his shot and we expect him to knock down some shots.
"But the thing that has impressed me the most is that he is getting to the free throw line now," Anderson continued. "Not only is BJ getting to the free throw line, but Mardracus is getting to the free throw line and Ricky Scott is getting to the free throw line. You get those guards to the free throw line and that gives you a chance to set up your defense and get some points while you are resting."
Razorback center Hunter Mickelson (8 points, 4 rebounds and 4 blocks) spent his second straight night battling inside against a 7-2 Lithuanian counterpart and two 7-foot reserves.
"It was definitely good," Mickelson said. "I don't know if there is anybody going to be close to 7-2 in the SEC. It is definitely good to play against those guys because you have to get your shots up and block out and get rebounds."
A big key in that run was the play of Williams, who had missed his last field goal attempts over two games before finding the range on his last three shots of Tuesday's contest.
"The first half I was just trying to worry about my defense because my offense wasn't there yet," Williams said. "I was just trying to give it my all and compete as hard I could on defense. I knew if I got steals and start converting lay-ups my offense would start coming around."
Anderson was pleased with how Williams took care of everything else even when his shot was not falling.
"That is the learning curve for a young kid," Anderson said. "Sometimes your shot is going to be there and you are going to make it, sometimes it is not. But can you give us some other things on defense and not get your head down.
"Give JaCorey some credit," Anderson added. "He hung in there and finally started making some shots and feeling good about himself."
The Razorbacks will not play against until Friday when it takes on All Star Italy in a 12:30 p.m. CST game in Rome.
"We still have a lot of work to do and a lot of room to improve, but the encouraging part of it all is our bench," Anderson said. "The bench is coming in and giving us some great minutes and they are all sitting there rooting for one another. It is building some harmony on this team."
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