Hogs Center Becomes Inside Factor

FAYETTEVILLE --Inside the Arkansas locker room, freshman center Darian Townes was still dancing to hip-hop when he was caught off guard by the media. Don't even know if the song had lyrics.

"What's that?" Townes said. "That's just music we play to kind of relax us."

Townes certainly looked relaxed during his team's 62-47 win against Georgia in Bud Walton Arena on Wednesday night in front of 16,234 fans.

After the game, Townes was kickin' it with his teammates.

As the music blared, Townes tucked his elbows into his torso and slowly shuffled his massive feet at the base of his 6-foot-10, 250-pound body.

He was just chillin'.

"This was a big game," Townes said. "I think we earned it. I just wanted to be a part of it."

Oh, he was.

Townes scored a team-high 17 points, grabbed 4 rebounds and blocked 1 shot in 30 quality minutes.

It marked the 12th time this season Townes has scored in double figures.

Suddenly, he's become a go-to-guy inside.

Townes, who made his sixth-straight start Wednesday night, said he didn't expect to be such a scoring threat this early in his career.

"Honestly, I kind of expected I would come in and just play a role," Townes said. "I thought I'd just be a backup, get garbage points. The leading scorers last year were (Razorbacks guards) Jonathon  Modica and Ronnie Brewer, and they were back.

"I didn't know I was going to be a big factor inside."

Arkansas coach Stan Heath wasn't sure either.

"We knew he could score when he came on board," Heath said. "He's got good scoring ability. Honestly, I didn't anticipate him having these types of numbers on this consistent of a basis.

"He's only getting better."

Townes scored 10 of his points in the second half and most of them came inside.

Three minutes into the second half, Townes scored four points. He also scored eight points in the first eight minutes of the second half.

"I kind of seen a weakness," Townes said. "They were fronting so high that if we could get a high-low action we could score some points inside.

"I guess it worked." Razorbacks sophomore guard Ronnie Brewer thought it did.

"We knew he could score inside," Brewer said. "We've seen that a lot this year. I think it really helped us guards, knowing we had someone we could go to inside.

"He did a good offensive job."

It was anticipated.

"Really, I think we did know all along he could do things like he's been doing," Brewer said. "We knew he could be an answer inside and give us a lot of positives scoring-wise."

Arkansas junior guard Eric  Ferguson agreed.

"Townes is a good shooter and scorer," Ferguson said. "We knew what he could do. I thought it was a big advantage for him to step up the way he did tonight.

"It was huge."

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