Early Block Pumps Up Arkansas Effort

FAYETTEVILLE -- It definitely was a Kodak moment. A perfect snapshot of perhaps the biggest moment of the night on a night of a lot of picture-perfect moments.

Caught in the lenses of many cameras was Arkansas guard Dontell Jefferson blocking a shot by his Ole Miss counterpart Bam Doyne.

Looks even better in freeze frame.

That one play, that one picture, helped frame Arkansas' 71-58 win against Ole Miss in front of 18,121 fans in Bud Walton Arena on Wednesday night.

Seconds after Jefferson landed on his feet after his short flight through the air to misdirect Doyne's shot, the basketball went dancing out of bounds.

And the place went bonkers.

Jefferson got a partial standing ovation and if confetti was available it probably would be immediately falling from the rafters.

When it happened -- with 9 minutes, 2 seconds left in the first half -- Arkansas trailed 19-17.

After it happened, the Razorbacks went on a 16-10 run and found themselves leading 36-21 at halftime.

"That was a big play," said Arkansas coach Stan Heath. "I remember that one play because it came right underneath their basket. He (Jefferson) just came out of nowhere and threw it out of there.

"I wish he could have kept it in play, but we'll take the block. We'll take no giving them two.

"We had lot of blocks."

Yeah, but not like that one.

That one was the real crowd pleaser. That one was the real momentum builder.

So, how did it happen?

"I just saw an opportunity," Jefferson said. "I just saw the guy coming in the lane and I just happen to be in position. I just went over there and blocked it.

"I think the big run was partly because of that block. It got us into it. The crowd got into it and we just took off from there."

And from there Arkansas never seemed to worry about much until the very end. "It was a big-time block, it was a big-time block," said Razorbacks guard Jonathon Modica. "It made a big difference. We got momentum going in our direction.

"We played hard, hard and aggressive and we got us motivated as a team."

Arkansas guard Ronnie Brewer said Jefferson's play did key the ignition on the Arkansas engine which failed to slow down the rest of the game.

"That was a great block and came at a great time," Brewer said. "I mean, that really got us going. Ole Miss had to be stunned. And our fans, they really got into it and we got into it as players after he made the block.

"That started everything for us tonight."

While Arkansas was scoring in bunches, Ole Miss was still mired in a major slump. Ole Miss went almost seven full minutes before scoring a single point.

"I thought the best part of the game was how we finished that first half," Heath said. "Being able to kind of shut them down and going on that nice run. To go into half with a good lead was big for us.

"We did a good job of keeping them at length."

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