3-Point Shooting Makes Difference For Hogs

FAYETTEVILLE -- No one could claim Arkansas couldn't hit the broadside of nearby Barnhill Arena on Thursday night.

Nope, in Bud Walton Arena, the Razorbacks almost couldn't miss.

Swish! Swish! Swish!

That was the most recognizable sound on the court.

A combination of deadly accurate 3-point shooting and an industrial strength defense lifted the Razorbacks to an 87-55 win against Hartford in front of 10,321 appreciative fans.

Arkansas was 13 of 20 on its 3-point attempts (65 percent) -- the school record is .667 -- and gathered 15 steals in the lopsided laugher.

Razorbacks guards Ronnie Brewer and Eric Ferguson did the most the damage.

They combined for 40 points. Brewer finished with a career-tying 23 points and 4 steals, Ferguson had 17 points and 3 steals.

Mighty good numbers.

But ...

More impressive was the fact the Hogs had more steals than a New York City pickpocket.

"We wanted to keep the pressure on them," said Arkansas coach Stan Heath. "I like the way our defense has been playing" Brewer jump-started the defense when, with 19 minutes, 7 seconds left in the first half, he stole the ball from Hartford's Aaron Cook and went in for a monster dunk.

That was just the beginning.

"I was just trying to get aggressive," Brewer said. "All season long, the coaches have stressed that, to keep my defense up."

It didn't hurt having Ferguson in the backcourt.

"Eric and I know how each other play," Brewer said. "I think that's because we have played together for more than a year now."

Ferguson nodded.

"Our offense starts from our defense," Ferguson said. "That leads to easy baskets. We wanted to pressure them with our defense.

"We just wanted to make them turn the ball over a lot. When we started pressuring them, they got intimidated.

"That makes a difference."

So does good long-range shooting.

"You look at their stats and they've never shot the ball that well from the perimeter," said Hartford coach Larry Harrison. "They were 13 of 20 from the 3-point line. That's the best I think they've shot all year.

"That's pretty impressive." So, what happened?

"They gave us some open looks we thought we could make," Ferguson said. "We shot with confidence and they went in."

Hogs guard Olu Famutimi agreed.

"We got some good shots," Famutimi said. "When we came down looking for the posts, they opened it up on the wings.

"That made for better open shots."

Arkansas finished the game shooting 57.7 percent from the floor.

"I think it was just having much better shots," Brewer said. "Last year, we might not have taken that many good shots if we didn't have a good look.

"We did tonight."

Hawgs Daily Top Stories