The Razorbacks dispacted Florida A&M 89-60 Tuesday night before 6,450 fans at Bud Walton Arena in a game that was part of the Las Vegas Invitational.
Junior forward Marshawn Powell led the way with 21 points and 10 rebounds while Rickey Scott added 13 points, B.J. Young 12 and Mardracus Wade both had 11 for Arkansas (3-0).
"We had a lot of guys that played well," Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson said. "Marshawn had that double-double and we had good balanced scoring...I loved our guys energy and I think guys came off the bench and gave us some quality minutes."
Florida A&M head coach Clemon Johnson, who played 10 years in the NBA with the Trailblazers, 76ers, Pacers and Supersonics, saw all he needed to know.
"It was nice to be in Arkansas and I wish I had seen my buddy Ron Brewer, Sr., but outside of that I am getting out of y'all's state," Clemons said. "You all may want to play another game, but...they (the Razorbacks) play at too high a level for us right now."
The Razorbacks easily took care of Longwood (112-63) on Sunday and the Ratttlers (0-4) in their two on-campus games in the tournament.
Arkansas will now face much better competition as it moves on to Las Vegas to meet Arizona State Friday night at 6 p.m. at the Orleans Hotel.
The winner of that game will face Friday night's Creighton-Wisconsin winner in the championship game on Saturday.
"It is going to give us a good gauge of where our guys are," Anderson said. "They are going to have the same size and in Arizona State's case, they are probably going to be bigger than we are."
Arizona State (3-0) beat Florida A&M 97-70 on Sunday and then downed Cornell 64-53 on Tuesday night.
"I am looking forward to the game myself,"' Johnson said. "We are going to play Longwood first so I am hopeful we are going to get that win, but I am going to stay and watch these two guys play. We are talking about a higher level of basketball."
Powell would not say he is 100 percent healthy from last season's injury that limited him to two games, but he sure looked that way with four dunks while going 8-of-14 from the field and 5-of-6 from the free throw line.
"I am not going to say that completely, but I work hard every day so I just try to make it translate over to the game," Powell said. Anderson liked what he saw from Powell both scoring and on the boards.
"He is playing athletic and he was the recipient of some nice passes, in particular the one Ky (Madden) gave him in the second half," Anderson said. "It was good to see him go to the basket with that kind of aggressiveness.
"The 10 rebounds were great - no question about it," Anderson said. "We challenged him. He had five at halftime so he was pretty consistent in that department and he got to the free throw line."
Arkansas led by 21 in the first half and had a 49-31 halftime before seeing the lead dwindle to 11 early in the second half.
But as soon as the lead was cut, the Razorbacks raced back out with a 9-0 run and cruised home for the win.
"Florida A&M came in here with a purpose tonight and that was to test us, and they tested us indeed," Anderson said. "We had the game going the direction we wanted to in the first half. We missed a lot of opportunities to even distance ourselves more, but we came out in the second half and the game went back and forth. Eventually they cut it to 11 points, which was a good gut-check for our guys."
Wade got the scoring started with a 3-pointer and netted all three of the shots he took from that range on the night while also clamping down on the Rattlers' leading scorer Jamie Adams. Adams came into the game averaging 18 points and had just 2 points on Tuesday.
"Tonight we saw Mardracus look like Mardracus of last year," Anderson said. ""His defense was good because he was paying a lot of attention to the Adams kid, their leading scorer. He did a great job in that department. We also got him (Wade) open and he knocked down some shots. That is going to work to his confidence where he can continue to shoot the ball well for us."
The Razorbacks shot just 40.3 percent from the field, but did force 22 turnovers while committing just nine of their own and managing a 48-48 deadlock on the boards.
Reggie Lewis led the Rattlers with 15 points while Muhammed Abdul-Aleem added 14, while Markee Teal had a game-high 14 rebounds.
Arkansas will practice inside Bud Walton Arena on Wednesday morning and then fly to Las Vegas around noon.
"It should be a fun trip," Scott said. "I remember from my AAU days having fun out there. I have good memories of Vegas plus I have family out there, too."
BJ Young drives past Walter Davis.
Rashad Madden had another stat-stuffing game with 8 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, a steal and no turnovers in his 19 minutes of action.
Coty Clarke fights his way to the basket through traffic.
Hunter Mickelson had two points, two assists, two blocks, a steal and a rebound in the game.
Rickey Scott had eight straight points in the game at one point, including this dunk.
Photos by Marc F. Henning