Razorbacks Get Early Scare In Latest Win

FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas got a major scare early in its game against Texas-Pan American on Friday night when sophomore forward Charles Thomas collapsed on the court just 41 seconds into the game.

Thomas apparently was hit in the face. His knees then buckled. He first slumped, then dropped to his knees and eventually went face-first onto the court as Razorbacks coach Stan Heath and trainer Dave England were trying to keep him propped up.

Thomas laid on the floor in front of the Razorbacks' bench for a few seconds before he could be helped up and eventually was taken to the Arkansas locker room.

He returned with 15 minutes, 35 seconds left in the first half, holding an ice pack on his right eye.

Thomas played a total of 10 minutes, scoring 7 points and grabbing 6 rebounds.

"Right now, it just hurts real bad," Thomas said. "When I got hit, I didn't know what was going on. It knocked all the food out of my teeth.

"Really, only thing I remember was waking up on the floor."

"It happened so fast. I don't know what hit me. I was kind of dizzy. I don't know how it happened. I just turned around to get the ball ... I wound up on the floor.

"Like I said, I got hit so hard it knocked all the food out of my teeth. I guess I don't have to brush my teeth tonight.

"I'm feeling great now."

Aren't You?
The referee for Friday night's game was Bruce Benedict.

Name ring a bell?

Benedict is a former catcher for the Atlanta Braves. He played from 1978-1989. In his 12-year career, Benedict batted .242 with 18 home runs and 260 RBIs.

So Bruce, how will Atlanta do this season?

"I don't know," he said. "Every year, they say they won't do anything and they wind up winning another (Eastern) division championship.

"Who knows?

"Florida's not that good, Philly didn't do anything in the off season. The Mets are probably going to be a lot better."

Joining Benedict on the officiating staff Friday night were Mike Nance and Tim Clougherty.

Moving On Up
Razorbacks senior guard Eric Ferguson continued to climb the all-time assists charts Friday night.

Ferguson had 3 assists and moved into sixth place all-time, surpassing Todd Day (319). Ferguson has 321 career assists.

He passed Day with 9:24 left in the game when he dished out an assist to Sean McCurdy to give Arkansas a 46-21 lead.

Kareem Reid is the school's all-time school leader in assists with 748.

Another Slow Start
Arkansas junior guard Ronnie Brewer continued to start off slow again. Brewer, who leads the Razorbacks with a 19.3 scoring average, didn't score a point in the first half.

Brewer had only 2 points in 21 minutes of playing time Friday night. He was 1 of 7 from the floor, including 0-3 on his 3-point attempts.

His only points came with 19:08 left in the game when he scored a basket inside.

Brewer's previous season low game of 12 points came against Texas Tech on Dec. 21.

Familiar Foes
Texas-Pan American and Arkansas have played two common opponents, Texas State and Texas Tech.

The Broncos lost 103-50 to Texas Tech on Dec. 10, then lost 58-57 against Texas State on Dec. 15.

Arkansas beat Texas State 73-67 on Dec. 6 in Bud Walton Arena and beat Texas Tech 78-65 in the American Airlines Center in Dallas on Dec. 21.

Nice Crowd
Arkansas played in front of 14,734 fans Friday night. That was the second-largest crowd of the season.

The Razorbacks drew 17,427 in a 66-63 win against Missouri on Dec . 2 in Bud Walton Arena.

Arkansas drew 14,280 in its win against Texas Tech.

Coming Attractions
Arkansas returns to the court at 7:35 p.m. Sunday, hosting Western Illinois in Bud Walton Arena.

The Razorbacks open their Southeastern Conference schedule at Mississippi State on Jan. 7. Then the Hogs meet LSU at 7:05 p.m. Jan. 11 in Bud Walton Arena and Vanderbilt at 2:05 p.m. Jan. 14, also at home.

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