It is the first time in the school's history that the Razorbacks have won 10 games before Christmas.

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It is the first time in the school's history that the Razorbacks have won 10 games before Christmas.

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Arkansas 87, Hartford 55

Ronnie Brewer ties a career-high with 23 points and Eric Ferguson and Jonathon "Pookie" Modica add 17 each as Arkansas (10-1) pummels Hartford Thursday night before 10,321 at Bud Walton Arena.<br><br> It is the first time in the school's history that the Razorbacks have won 10 games before Christmas.<br><br>

With a man who once coached basketball legend Larry Bird looking on from courtside, multi-talented University of Arkansas sophomore guard Ronnie Brewer once again showed why he likely will have a future in the NBA one day.

The 6-7, 210-pound Brewer had 15 of his 23 points by halftime, chipped in 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals on the night to lead the Razorbacks to a 87-52 over Hartford Thursday night before 10,321 fans at Bud Walton.

"We played a terrific first half," Arkansas head coach Stan Heath said. "I think that might have been the best first half we have played all year. I credit the players of coming ready to play and really strapping it on defensively."

K.C. Jones, the former Boston Celtics player and later head coach of the NBA's winningest franchise, was part of the Hartford radio crew.

"He's a very, very good basketball player," Jones said afterwards. "He's a 6-7 guard that does a lot of things well. In the pros, a 6-7 guard is super."

Arkansas (10-1) continued their best start since winning the national title back in 1994 and became the first UA team to win 10 games before Christmas.

"I've never won 10 games before Christmas either," Heath said. "We are doing some great things and that's an outstanding accomplisment, but that's all it is. We've got a lot more to get accomplished."

Jones got to see Brewer and the other Razorbacks pull out about every thing in their arsenal while Arkansas was racing to a 45-18 lead by halftime and an early 41-point lead in the second half.

Ferguson knocked down 3 of his 5 3-pointers on the night - he would finish 5 out of 7 from behind the arc - in that opening half.

Brewer had just one turnover and Ferguson none while playing a combined 44 minutes.

"We wanted to end this stretch with a statement and make it a great Christmas for our fans and our team by playing a great game," Brewer said. "I think that's what we did for the most part."

Brewer was 9-of-12 from the field - including knocking down 3 of the 4 3-pointers and was also 2-of-4 from the free throw line.

Arkansas junior Eric Ferguson added 17 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists, Jonathon "Pookie" Modica a season-high 17 points and Darian Townes 11 in the win.

It was a night when the Razorbacks shot a sizzling 57.7 percent (15-of-26) from the field in both halves and 65 percent from 3-point range (13-of-20) - the third best 3-point shooting night in the school's history.

Three of those four have come this year.

"I hope teams keep playing zone all year long," Heath said. "Our guys eyes light up a little bit. It's kind of like they are trying to figure out how do we want to attack it this time - do we want to go inside-out or do we want to penetrate and kick and then sometimes we just throw the ball over the top for a lob."

The Razorbacks won for the fifth straight time while mowing down the fourth of seven straight home opponents that will be capped by their SEC opener against Ole Miss on Jan. 5.

Before that league opener Arkansas will take a few days off for Christmas and then host Jacksonville State on Dec. 29 and Louisiana-Monroe on Dec. 31.

"This (break) comes at a very good time," Heath said. "I almost look at this game as closure to the early part of the season and now I look at these two as lead-in games to our SEC season."

Hartford (2-6) also returns to action on Dec. 29 when it faces Rider University in the first round of the Oneida Bingo and Casino Classic in Green Bay, Wisc.

Hartford head coach Larry Harrison's only other trip to Bud Walton Arena was as an Cincinnati assistant when the Bearcats topped Arkansas 82-67 back on Dec. 9, 1995 - a game then-President Bill Clinton attended.

After the beatdown on Thursday, that's enough for him.

"That's the only other time I've been here," Harrison said while laughing "and I don't want to come back."


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