Arkansas Adjusts Attitude In Second Half

FAYETTEVILLE -- Most people figured Arkansas probably wouldn't have a tough time beating Auburn in Bud Walton Arena on Saturday night.

And most people were absolutely right.

It took awhile, but eventually the Razorbacks punished the Tigers 84-64 in front of 17,679 fans in a home game they so desperately needed two win.

Since its 78-77 loss at LSU on Wednesday night, Arkansas has developed a different attitude at the same latitude.

Basically, the team's motto has become, "Enough's enough."

Sounds good.

But ...

It took awhile for the idea to take hold.

Early in the second half, Arkansas decided enough was enough and it bulldozed its way to a relatively easy win in this Southeastern Conference laugher.

It wasn't that funny in the first half when Arkansas struggled out of the gates. The Razorbacks got things corrected in the second half and pronto.

Guards Ronnie Brewer and Jonathon  Modica did the most damage. Brewer scored a game-high 19 points, including 16 in the second half and had 6 assists and 3 steals for good measure.

Modica scored 17 points -- he had 12 in the second half -- and had 2 assists and 2 steals.

"I kind of like took it upon myself and I'm certain that Ronnie did also," Modica said. "It was like we're only up by like six points in the half. We weren't playing good basketball at all.

"We weren't knocking down shots at all. We were turning the ball over, weren't converting on the offensive end. I think with the leadership Ronnie and I provided, we went out there and got this team going.

"Certainly Ronnie, cause he got a couple of steals. Got a couple of dunks and played very well and very solid in the second half.

"He got us going in the right direction."

With 18 minutes, 18 seconds left in the game, Modica fed Brewer perfectly for a slam dunk. Seconds later, Brewer scored again on a layup and not long after that Modica nailed a 3-pointer to lift Arkansas in front 43-35.

With 11:38 remaining, Brewer drained another 3-pointer. He did it again, this time with 10:14 left to push Arkansas in front 56-44.

Auburn never got closer than 10 points the rest of the night.

"It was kind of hard to bounce back," Brewer said. "I kind of came out slow. I think we kind of came out a little slow because I think it (the LSU) was still on some people's minds.

"I think our bodies were worn down."

Arkansas led only 36-31 at halftime and frankly didn't look as if it was ready to play. In fact, the Razorbacks turned it over eight times in the first 20 minutes.

"At halftime, he told us we had to pick it up," said Razorbacks forward Charles Thomas. "You know, we really didn't have a great first half, the way we wanted.

"We had a bad first half."

Brewer couldn't argue.

"I thought we started off a little slow in the first half, but tried to pick it up in the second half," Brewer said. "We tried to execute our offense and I think we did that, too. We were more aggressive.

"In the second half we were running fast breaks, getting easy transition baskets and playing good defense. My defense led to a lot of easy baskets.

"I think we just adjusted after that."

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