Arkansas 89, High Point 48

Bobby Portis has 16 points and 9 rebounds and fellow freshman big man Moses Kingsley adds 12 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks as five Arkansas players score in double figures and the Razorbacks hammer High Point 89-48 Saturday night before a season-high 9,110 fans at Bud Walton Arena.

Arkansas certainly showed no post-Christmas sluggishness Saturday night while capping off an unbeaten 2013 at Bud Walton Arena.

Bobby Portis had 16 points and 9 rebounds and fellow Moses Kingsley added 12 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks as the Razorbacks finished off an 18-0 mark at home this season and won their 22nd straight game at Bud Walton Arena by downing High Point 89-48 before a seasonn-high 9,110 fans.

Michael Qualls had 12 and Anthlon Bell and Coty Clarke both added 11 points for Arkansas (10-2).

"I thought it was a very complete performance by our basketball team from start to finish," Razorback head coach Mike Anderson said. " We put three words on the board before these guys came out and one of them was stops. We talked about having multiple stops and we started that game off with seven multiple stops. It really ignited our defense.

"Our defense was everywhere," Anderson added. "From the first guys who started out through the guys on the bench the energy in the building. It was kind of contagious. It was good to see us have a complete performance for 40 minutes. No matter who I put in the game I thought they kept the level of intensity at a great pace."

The Razorbacks – whose home streak is now the fourth longest active one in the country – had a season-high 17 steals and turned the Panthers' 25 turnovers into 36 points.

"We feel like we have one of the best facilites in the country and we've got some of the best fans," Anderson said. "The fans here tonight were treated to a show. The guys went out and performed and played Razorback basketball. That's what they did. Our guys going out and performed in front of our fans and they enjoy playing here. Our fans help get them going. It was a little buzz right before the game and I thought that was important for the start of this game.

"We want to make this a difficult place to play and you have got to protect the home court," Anderson added. "If you are going to be in any kind of race, any kind of championship, you have got to be able to protect the home court and you have got to set the tone in the exhibition season, the non-conference and obviously in the conference season as well."

The Razorbacks raced out to a 13-2 lead on Kingsley's rebound bucket and led 29-9 on Michael Qualls' dunk wuth 6:55 left in the opening half.

Alandise Harris' long jumper capped off a solid first half in which the Razorbacks took at 42-23 lead into intermission.

It grew to 51-26 after Rashad Madden drained a 3-pointer, Portis scored inside and Clarke dunked early in the second half and Arkansas never looked back.

High Point (3-8) – who led No. 2 Syracuse 40-39 early in the second half bfore losing 75-54 in their last game before Christmas – was overwhelmed from the start on Saturday night.

Panthers head coach Scott Cherry, a former North Carolina player who went 1-1 in his career against Arkansas, said that his team just didn't execute againt the pressure.

"Obviously not our best performance," Cherry said. "They came out from the jump and just took control the game. We turned it over way too much early on. We prepared the last two days for their press, but we just didn't execute.

"We've had a tough stretch, a lot of games in a row on the road," Cherry added. "We've got another one coming up in less than 48 hours. But ti's just one of those deals where we've got a young team and we're working through it.

High Point has now played Georgetown, Syracuse and Arkansas.

"Arkansas is going to have a really good season in the SEC and I can certainly see them being a post-season team," Cherry said. "...It's hard to simulate the size and athleticism and the way that they play the game in practice, because we don't have the same type of players. They're good at what they do, and they keep the pressure constant. They run a bunch of different guys at you. You've got to give them credit. They played well."

Portis continued his stretch of solid games as he was 7-of-9 from the field on a night when Arkansas shot 51.5 percent from the field and made 14-of-17 free throws.

"He has been coming on," Anderson said. "You look at the game in Little Rock he was 5 for 5 in the first half and I think he led us in rebounding. He keeps getting better each and every game. Can you imagine two of your freshmen in the amount of the minutes they played they both almost had double-doubles."

Kingsley continues to push for more playing time.

"He id doing it every day in practice," Anderson said. "He is going after these guys. He has a big-time motor and he won't back down. What you are seeing out there he is doing in practice and as a matter of fact I think the games may be easier for him.

" It was good to see him have success because he is going to be pivotal in what we do to have a guy of that size, his body, his athletic ability," Anderson added. "Seems like he goes and gets every rebound and he is swatting at every shot. Now he is getting to the free throw line and he is making free throws. The energy and toughness that he plays with is much-needed on this team."

The Razorbacks will finish up their non-conference slate next Saturday against Texas San-Antonio before opening conference play Wednesday, Jan. 8 at Texas A&M.

Coty Clarke comes up with one of High Point's 25 turnovers as Bobby Portis looks on.

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