Hogs Enjoy Postgame With Fans

FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas took its postgame celebration into the crowd for the first time ever after Thursday's 96-68 win against Tennessee State.

Mike Jones, Charles Thomas and Ronnie Brewer led the cheers as the team sung (or least tried to sing) the words to "Oh Lord, it's hard to be humble," on the front row of the student section.

"I didn't know all the words and I was actually humming most of the time as we rocked back and forth," said sophomore Olu Famutimi. "But that still was special. We had a lot of fun with it and we got a chance to hang with the fans for a little bit after the game."

Most of Famutimi's teammates agreed, adding that they still have to learn the words as well.

"We'll get (the words) down," Brewer said with a laugh. "We all enjoyed ourselves and I think it was good for our fans, too. I was glad that we did that and I think we need to keep on doing it."

Arkansas coach Stan Heath said he had to lip sync the words he didn't know even though the actual lyrics are posted on a wall in the Hogs' locker room.

"I know like three lines," Heath said. "I know it's hard to be humble and it's great to be a Razorback fan.

"I was trying to do a Milli Vanilli."

Led by Arkansas coach Houston Nutt, the Razorbacks' football team has practiced a similar postgame celebration after wins.

And it sounds like the basketball team may continue with their new tradition.

"That's something you don't do in high school," said freshman Charles Thomas. "But this is such a great ballclub with great fans and I'm just happy to be a part of it. I love being here with the 'Woo Pig Sooie,' and everything.

"The fans are great and this was our way of giving back."

Arkansas' best sixth man this season earned a start Thursday against Tennessee State. It was Eric Ferguson's first start since last season and the junior guard made the most of it by scoring seven points and tying a career-high with eight assists.

"I never said I didn't like starting, I just said I'll do whatever Coach wants me to do," Ferguson said. "At the beginning of the year, before we even played, coach Heath said he wanted me to come off the bench and at first, I was a little mad about it.

"But once the season started and I got to do it a few times, I started liking it because I could bring a little energy to the floor when I came in. But I got the start and I thought I played all right.

"As long as we win, I'm going to have fun out there whether I start or not."

Ferguson, nicknamed "E-Star," wasted little time getting going by nailing a 3-pointer from the top of the key just seven seconds into the game. Later, his running one-hander off the glass made it 21-12 with 13:37 remaining in the first half.

Alley Oops
On back-to-back possessions late in the first half, Arkansas tried to feed Brewer with an alley oop unsuccessfully. On the first, Brewer missed the tip-in, but Darian Townes was there for the put back.

On the second, Brewer tried a two-handed dunk, but was whistled for goaltending as he apparently touched the ball for a second time as it kicked off the back of the rim.

On The Mark
After struggling with consistently from the free-throw line early this season, Brewer appears to have found his touch.

Brewer, who was 1 of 7 on free throw attempts against Illinois two games ago, was 6 of 6 last week against Missouri and hit his first four free throws against Tennessee State, giving him 10 in a row.

"I've just got to keep on doing the things I'm doing in practice and before the game and hopefully, they'll keep going in," Brewer said. "We all have confidence in each other and that's the biggest difference."

He was 5 of 6 from the foul line for the game.

Raining 3s
After hitting just one 3-pointer in last week's 62-52 win at Missouri, the Hogs found the mark early against Tennessee State as they drained three (Ferguson, Olu Famutimi and Charles Thomas) from beyond the arc in the opening two minutes.

The Razorbacks finished 4 of 14 from 3-point range and extended their streak of hitting at least one trey to 523 consecutive games.

No Place Like Home
Thursday's game was the first of seven straight games in Bud Walton Arena for the Razorbacks making it the longest home stand since the Hogs opened with seven consecutive home games in 2001.

The last time the Hogs played eight in a row was from Nov. 30 through Jan. 3 during the 1995-96 season.

Arkansas continues the home stand against Prairie View A&M on Saturday at 12:35 p.m.

Thursday's game was the first of two against the Southeastern Conference for Tennessee State. The Tigers next play at Alabama on Saturday.

It's part of a tough non-conference slate for the Tigers, who already lost at 2004 NCAA Tournament participants Western Kentucky (76-73 in overtime) and Vanderbilt (87-65). They also will travel to Iowa State and Louisville before beginning Ohio Valley Conference play next month.

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