Brewer Enjoys Career Night On Glass

FAYETTEVILLE --Ronnie Brewer is Arkansas' leading returning rebounder after averaging 5.5 per game in his freshman All-American season in 2003-04, but hadn't led the Razorbacks once this season before Thursday night.

Brewer pulled down a career-high 13 caroms Thursday in Arkansas' 73-67 win in Bud Walton Arena.

Brewer tied teammate Rashard Sullivan for team-high honors with 7 against Troy in the second round of the Paradise Jam on Nov. 20 in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and his second-best game was 6 against Tennessee State.

With more responsibilities at point guard this season, Brewer has been pulled away from the basket a little more, but with Jacksonville State's smaller lineup, coach Stan Heath put Brewer at the power forward slot and told him to get to work.

Brewer grabbed eight offensive rebounds and in one key sequence in the second half got the crowd and the team back in the game.

Down 33-31 early in the second half, Arkansas took the lead after a great hustle sequence by the Razorbacks.

Olu Famutimi missed a 3-pointer and Steven Hill missed the tip-in attempt.

Brewer tapped the ball back toward the rim at least three times before Famutimi cleaned up the miss and kicked it back outside.

Eric Ferguson missed a 3-pointer badly but chased down his own rebound and passed to Darian Townes in the post.

Townes kicked it back to Ferguson, who got his feet set and nailed the 3-pointer to get Arkansas back ahead.

Arkansas went on a 10-2 scoring run and an 8-0 rebound run to start the half and got out to a 41-35 lead.

"Coach pretty much wanted me to be more aggressive on offensive and defensive glass," Brewer said. "He knew I can rebound. I led the team last year, so he challenged me to go be more aggressive on the boards tonight."

Arkansas assistant coach Darren Sorenson is no stranger to Jacksonville State. The third-year assistant was director of basketball operations at the school on JSU coach Mike LaPlante's first staff prior to joining Heath at Arkansas.

Sorenson spent only one season at Jacksonville State (2001-2202). He joined Heath's staff on March 17, 2002.

Jacksonville State, which led 33-31 at halftime, flirted with running away with the game eight minutes into the second half.

The Gamecocks went on an 8-0 run and with 12 minutes, 16 seconds left in the game went ahead 45-42, forcing Arkansas to call for a timeout.

JSU's Walter Russell capped the run with a long 3-pointer from the left side.

With the game only four seconds old, Jacksonville State called timeout after Razorbacks swingman Olu Famutimi scored on an uncontested slam dunk to give Arkansas a 2-0 lead.

Former Razorbacks player Blake Eddins was behind the TV microphone for Arkansas Razorback Network again Wednesday night. For the second game this season, Eddins, who lettered from 2000-2003, was the color commentator. He made his TV debut in Arkansas' 102-50 win against Prairie View A&M in Bud Walton Arena on Dec. 18.

On Dec. 23, former Razorbacks guard Pat Bradley (UA letterman from 1996-99) handled the ARSN color duties in Arkansas' 87-55 win against Hartford, also in Bud Walton Arena.

Arkansas has won its first game following Christmas 16 consecutive years. The last loss was Dec. 28, 1988 at No. 11 Missouri. The Hogs lost that game 83-78.

Wednesday's game was the first meeting between Arkansas and Jacksonville State.

In four-plus years under coach LaPlante, Jacksonville State is 4-10 on Wednesday night games.

And the Gamecocks are 52-55 in night games.

They are 12-17 in games played in December.

In the starting lineup for Jacksonville State on Wednesday night was 6-foot-7 freshman forward Brandon Davis.

Name sound familiar?

Former Razorbacks guard Brandon Davis lettered from 1998-2001. His final game came March 15, 2001 in a first-round loss to Georgetown in the NCAA Tournament in the Western Region in Boise, Idaho. That's the last time the Razorbacks have played in the postseason.

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