Arkansas 102, Prairie View 50

Arkansas (8-1) breezes to an easy 102-50 victory over winless Prairie View before a Saturday afternoon crowd of 11,648 at Bud Walton Arena and is now off to its best start since the 1997-98 season.

A blowout was expected at Bud Walton Arena on Saturday afternoon and a blow was exactly what materialized.

Call this one a pre-Christmas cupcake.

Ronnie Brewer and Darian Townes each had 16 points and Townes added 7 rebounds and 6 of his team's 13 blocks as the University of Arkansas pounded winless Prairie View 102-50 before a crowd of 11,648 fans in the second game of a seven-game homestretch.

"I think we all realize that Prairie View is going through a growing process and they are trying to make improvements in their program," Arkansas head coach Stan Heath said. "They will - Jerry Francis is going to do a good job, had them going a couple of years ago and just has young guys right now.

"But at the same time,I feel like our guys came out very focused and didn't have any letdowns," Heath continued. "There was a lot of energy out there on the court and we played pretty good basketball."

Arkansas topped the 100 mark for the first time under Heath in this ballgame, one game after putting up 96 on Tennessee State.

It also boosted their Razorbacks to their best start since the 1998-1999 campaign.

Charles Thomas added 12 points, freshman center Steven Hill a career-high 10 points, 6 rebounds and 5 blocks and Jonathon "Pookie" Modica 10 points, a team-leading 8 rebounds and 4 assists as the Razorbacks (8-1) won their third straight game.

"The challenge sometimes is more against yourself than anything else," Heath said. "That was kind of theme for the day. Let's make sure we can look in the mirror. We played basketball the right way and did the things we have been working on - playing out there with intensity, playing out there unselfishly.

"When you look at stats that are related to effort in rebounds (a 59-30 advantage) and stats related to unselfishness in assists (23)," Heath added, " I grade us an A in those areas, especially in a game like this."

The UA squad had 8 players with over 8 points aned six players with over six rebounds with only walk-on Sammy Munsey not getting in the scoring column.

"A lot of people contributed today," Brewer said. "Points, rebounds, assists, we had people contribute in all the main categories."

The Razorbacks bullied Prairie View (0-8)- who has former UA standout Darrell Hawkins as an assistant coach - througout the contest.

It was the first time the UA had topped the century mark since the next-to-last year of the Nolan Richardson era when they whipped Maryland Eastern-Shore 100-40 on Jan. 2, 2001.

They jumped out to a 28-7 lead out of the gate and had pushed that to as much as 27 in the opening half before settling for a 49-26 advantage at intermission.

A second-half in which the Razorbacks put up 53 points was never in doubt although Priaire View did get to 50 points for only the third time this season.

Arkansas shot 48 percent (36-of-75) from the field, 66.7 percent (8-of-12) from 3-point range and 81.5 percent (22-of-27) from the free throw line.

The Razorbacks had nine of its swats by halftime withthe 6-10, 253-pound Townes getting 4 of his 6 and the 7-0, 233-pound Hill 3 of his 5 before recess.

The home team scored 54 points inside and limited the visitors to just 28.8 percent shooting from the field.

"The second half when we just really focused on staying man-to-man, it was at times scary," Heath said. "They couldn't get a shot or if they did there was somebody challenging it. Not only the defense, but the intensity inside the defense was good."

Arkansas will return to action quickly with a Monday night 7:05 p.m. game against Lipscomb and following that up with a Thursday night game against Hartford.

The Razorbacks will then take a break for Christmas and then finishing out its nonconference slate with Jacksonville St. (Dec. 29) and Louisiana-Monroe (Dec. 31).

The pom pon squad had a Christmas dance routine at halftime that featured some fancy kick moves.

Stan Heath was pleased with many facets of his team's play.

Blake Eddins was the color commentator on ARSN's broadcasts with Paul Eells.

Marcus Monk got 19 minutes against Prairie View A&M.

Steven Hill scored 10 points with five blocked shots.

Darian Townes is congratulated by Stan Heath.

Photos by Tom Ewart

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