Notes/Quotes from Hoops

Eric Ferguson played through some pain in Arkansas' 73-67 victory over Jacksonville State on Wednesday night at Bud Walton Arena.

Eric Ferguson sucked it up after sustaining a few injuries in a car wreck over the Christmas vacation trip to New York City. He had a bruised forehead, a busted lower lip and sore lower back. He hit the dash in the car crash. The bruised forehead and busted lip looked nasty.

"I knew he would play because he's a tough kid, but I think part of it was the difference in maturity from last year to this year," said Stan Heath. "I knew his back was hurting, but he wouldn't come out."...

Jonathon Modica said he made a big mistake in the closing minutes when he picked up a technical foul for jawing with an opponent at the foul line. The official stepped in and warned both players. When the official backed away, Modica added another verbal jab to the Jacksonville State player and was given the "T," one of the few he's ever gotten.

"I was wrong," Modica said. "I didn't say anything to the ref. Can't get one in that situation, late in a close game. I've got to keep my composure there. The guy shoved me and had been saying things, but I can't make retaliate."...

The attendance was announced at 15,924. And, it wasn't just the regulars who showed up. There were long lines at the ticket window 30 minutes before game time. All of those folks came in handy when the Hogs found themselves down 48-42 midway through the second half.

"I didn't know what kind of crowd to expect, but they gave us a big lift," Heath said. "They really helped us in the second half. I was pleased with the energy the crowd had tonight."...

The Hogs were without starting freshman forward Charles Thomas on Wednesday night. He stayed in Jackson, Miss., over the Christmas break to support his girlfriend in the birth of a baby daughter. Maria Thomas weighed in at 4 pounds, 12 ounces on Tuesday. Mother and daughter are doing well. Thomas is expected to return to Fayetteville on Thursday....

Arkansas guard Ronnie Brewer played the power forward spot for most of the second half since Jacksonville State went with a four-guard lineup for most of the game. Brewer turned that into a rebound fest. He had a career-high 13 rebounds, and also came up with four steals and four assists while leading the Hogs with 17 points.

"They were a matchup problem for us and we just finally went with four guards," Heath said. "That put Ronnie around the basket a little more and enabled him to trap from the back side on ball screens."

Brewer said, "We went with our veterans over the last 10 minutes and dug down deep. Our older guys like Eric Ferguson, Olu Famutimi and Pookie Modica decided to get with it and tighten up the defense. Last year, this team probably would have lost this game. It's good to get a win any way, any time."...

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