Delta State brought a highly-regarded Division II team to Bud Walton Arena on Tuesday night, but the program whose unofficial mascot is a Fighting Okra didn’t have enough scrappiness in it to leave with a victory.
Moses Kingsley had 16 points, Dusty Hannahs all 15 of his in the second half and Jimmy Whitt 14 as Arkansas finished off its two-game exhibition slate by downing Delta State 74-40 at Bud Walton Arena.
The Razorbacks led just 14-12 early in the game and 41-23 at halftime, but put the game away with a 22-1 run over the last 11 minutes of the game.
"We got the last of the exhibition games out of the way against a Delta State team that I think is going to win a lot of games in their league," Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson said. "They have some experienced guys and I thought they came out and threw the first punch at our guys and then our guys responded in a positive way."
Manny Watkins added 9 points for the Razorbacks, Keaton Miles 9 rebounds and point guard Jabril Durham 7 assists, 5 rebounds, 5 steals and no turnovers, who open their regular season Friday night against visiting Southern.
Durham had 16 assists and just three turnovers in the two exhibition games.
"Jabril has seven assists and no turnovers in 23 minutes and gets five rebounds," Anderson said. "That means he is trying to take command out there on the floor. It is good to see some of those things taking place with our basketball team."
Delta State - ranked 11th nationally in the Division II Bulletin Preseason Poll, and the Gulf South Conference favorite - fought back to within 52-39 with 11:09 left in the game, but Hannahs then help put the game away.
He had 12 points during the 22-1 run - including a trio of deep 3-pointers - as the Razorbacks allowed only a free throws in those last 11 minutes.
"It was good to see Dusty come out and have a good game," Anderson said. "He was knocking shots down. And one thing about this team is that you have multiple guys that can really put the ball in the hole."
Arkansas was 26-of-63 from the field, 5-of-13 from 3-point range and 17 of 20 from the free throw line.
The Razorbacks struggled out of the gate by hitting just 3-of-16 field goal attempts to start the game.
"Early on we missed a lot of chippie shots, but then I think our defense triggered some easy offense for us and allowed us to get into our defense."
Kingsley, who struggled offensively in Sunday's 108-53 exhibition win over Southwestern Oklahoma State University, and Whitt both had 12 points in the first half.
"Moses had a big first half," Anderson said. "He was totally different than he was the other night. I thought he played with a lot of patience, with some poise and utilized his size."
Delta State shot just 30 percent from the field while hitting 17 of its 56 attempts.
Devin Schmidt had 16 points to lead the Statesman.
"Defensively, you can't ask for anything better than that," Anderson said. "They scored 23 points the first half and 17 the second half. Fatigue became a factor in this game."
Arkansas' bench contributed 31 points in the contest.
"Our bench played well," Anderson said. "I thought they came in and provided the energy with Manny Watkins, Trey Thompson. He (Thompson) didn't take a whole lot of shots, but I just thought his energy was really good. Keaton had nine rebounds. He was pretty active."
Southern finished 18-17 last season and made it to the SWAC title game, but would have been ineligible to go to the NCAA Tournament if it had won due to a postseason ban for a low APR score.
"I'm sure our team is excited because the games count," Anderson said. "It's game on now."
Moses Kingsley gets one of his three blocked shots on Tuesday night.
Dusty Hannahs drives on Delta State's Devin Schmidt