The tune-up for the tune-up turned into more of a track meet than a basketball game.
Jonathon Modica had 28 points and 11 rebound and 5 assists, Darian Townes 25 points and 11 rebounds and Charles Thomas chipped in 24 points and 8 rebounds as the Razorbacks whipped NAIA LSU-Shreveport Saturday night 120-79 in an exhibition game at Bud Walton Arena before a crowd of 10,350 fans.
Ronnie Brewer added 15 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds and freshman guard Sean McCurdy 13 points, 5 assists and 4 turnovers in 33 minutes of action.
It was he Razorbacks' final exhibition game before the season opener with Portland State next Friday, which is Arkansas' only regular season game before playing in a loaded Maui Invitational Tournament.
"I thought it was a very fun and entertaining game," Arkansas head coach Stan Heath said. "The first half was fast and furious with a lot of transition. We were trying to adjust to the speed of the game. It took us a little time, but I thought we settled in and rebounded well. We shot a high percentage and didn't turn the ball over."
Indeed Arkansas connected on 59.2 percent of its field goal attempts, outrebounded the Pilots 53-31 and only hade four of its 14 turnovers in that breakneck first half.
Dontell Jefferson led the way with 7 assists as Arkansas had 31 of those to 14 turnovers in the contest while forcing 19 miscues and scoring aa whopping 78 points in the paint.
"We're just having fun playing the game," Thomas said. "LSUS has some great players and shooters, but we came together and just kept coming at them."
The UA squad did suffer a loss on Saturday when oft-injured redshirt sophomore Vincent Hunter went down with a knee injury early in the second half.
It appears to just be a sprained knee with no tears.
"We feel like it's better news than we first thought," Heath said. "We think it is something he will recover from quickly."
Arkansas played without injured sophomore center Steven Hill - who has a high ankle sprain, and injured senior guard Eric Ferguson.
While Ferguson has a broken nose and a new facemask, it was not his injury that kept him from playing according to Heath.
"He (Ferguson) could have played, but I chose not to play him for team reasons and personal reasons," Heath said. "...It was one of those team and personal things a coach does to get a guy's attention."
The Razorbacks, who led 63-44 at halftime, were playing a LSUS team that had scored 153 points in an exhibition win last week against Paul Quinn and then lost to McNeese State 99-88 on Thursday night.
The visitor shot 41 three pointers on the night, making only 10. Josh Porter was 6-of-18 from behind the line and his teammate Frederiko Payne was 2-of-12 from beyond the arc.
Arkansas actually trailed 10-6 early on and led just 24-21 when Derrick Sowell buried a 3-pointer with 13:28 left in the first half.
But the Razorbacks then went on a 13-0 run - fueled by scoring from five different players - and capped when Brewer put in a layup to go up 37-21 with 10:07 remaining.
That first-hald lead crested at 58-33 when Thomas scored inside with 2:29 remaining before intermission.
Townes' slam off a pass from Preston Cranford put Arkansas up 100-70 with 6:52 remaining in the game.
Fan favorite Sammy Munsey had six late points to the crowd's delight.
Arkansas will now take Sunday and Monday off before resuming practice on Tuesday.
(UA trainer) Dave England will be working 24-7 with the guys on any nicks and bruises they might have," Heath said, "and we expect a full squad for practice on Tuesday."
Arkansas 120, LSUS 79
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