Texas Tech 71, Arkansas 56

Texas Tech routs Arkansas 71-56 Saturday afternoon before 13,283 fans at Alltel Arena in North Little Rock.

NORTH LITTLER ROCK - Add University of Arkansas coach Stan Heath and his team to the Bobby Knight hit list.

The hit list that now has 878 victims.

Charlie Burgess had 19 points and Jarrius Jackson and Martin Zeno 17 each as Texas Tech used an 18-0 run early in the game and went on to rout Arkansas 71-56 Saturday afternoon before 13,283 fans at Alltel Arena.

"It was as pleased as I have been with our team in two years," said Knight, whose team shot over 75 percent from the field in the first 15 minutes of the game and 58.3 percent for the day. "I thought we came out and execute our game plan about as well as we could."

It was indeed the 878th win in Knight's 41-year head coaching career and a victory that moved him to within one of tying former North Carolina head coach Dean Smith as college basketball's all-time winningest coach.

He'll get the chance to tie and break the record at home as the Red Raiders (9-3), who hit 7 of their first eight shots of the game, host Bucknell next Saturday and then UNLV on Dec. 28.

Knight told the media that his dad was an Arkansas native from Mount Ida, and he praised the crowd his team played before on Saturday. Arkansas is a place that he visits every summer per Knight. "I thought it was a great crowd, a very good basketball crowd," Knight said. "I thought that they were - and I am not sure I have ever used this word at a visiting crowd before - were nice. They got with the game and stayed with the game right down to the last two or three minutes. My dad was born in Arkansas. Nice people come from Arkansas." Heath, who had avoided getting on the list last year when the Razorbacks topped the Red Raiders last season in Dallas, was naturally disappointed in his team's effort in their only Central Arkansas appearance of the season.

"I want to give a lot of credit to the crowd to our fans," Heath said. "They were ready to go, fired up and we didn't do our part. We are disappointed in the loss. " To see us play so well a couple of days ago - and I know there is a difference between Oakland and Tech - but to see us today, it's just wasn't the same team," Heath added. Texas Tech had something to do with that, but a lot of that was us." Charles Thomas had 21 points – 11-of-13 from the line - to lead Arkansas (8-2) in scoring while Darian Townes had 10 in a game in which the home team shot just 40.8 percent from the field.

Patrick Beverley had 9 and Gary Ervin 7 with no other Razorbacks scoring more than four points in the game.

"We truly let our fan base down," Ervin said. Beverley echoed those sentiments. "I would just like to apologize to our fans and make sure they understand we will be back," Beverley said. Ervin had 6 of the team's 18 turnovers and Weems scored just four points and took just five shots. "I didn't think it was one of his (Ervin's) better games," Heath said. "He needs to play a lot better. We need to get better play from our point guard spot. I also didn't think Sonny Weems had one of his better games so two of our key players on the perimeter - and two of our older guys - we need to have more production from them." The Razorbacks (8-2) were just 3-of-21 from 3-point range. "Obviously when you go 3-for-21 from 3 it is not a good recipie, especially when a team is double-teamming inside and they are clogging up the paint in zone or in their man," Heath said. Arkansas trailed 18-3 and then 33-14 with Jackson having 16 of those points. "The start of the game was obviously the biggest key," Heath said. "I thought Jarrius Jackson set the tone early. He is an outstanding player and set the tone early." The Razorbacks finally began showing some life with a 19-7 run of its own at that point.

That was capped by Beverley's drive that cut the Texas Tech lead to 40-32 with 14:30 left in the game.

"It appeared that we had a run in us," Heath said. "We cut to right and were looking for a big stop, a big three, something to get us over that eight-point deficit and it just didn't happen." But the Razorbacks could never get closer than that the rest of the way and actually found itself down by 13 when Burgess got a back-door lay-up for a 56-43 advantage with 5:28.

The closest Arkansas could get after that point was 10 points as Thomas repeatedly went to the free throw line.

Although Sonny Weems' 3-pointer started the game's scoring, Texas Tech answered with the next 18 points – going 7-of-8 from the field - as Arkansas went scoreless for next seven-plus minutes.

A mini-surge got the Razorbacks to within 22-9 when Beverley scored on a running jumper inside the lane, but Jackson steadied his squad.

Eight straight Texas Tech points by Jackson and then a 3-pointer from the left corner by reserve Alan Voskuil pushed the Red Raiders out front 33-14 with 4:47 left in the half.

"Our fans created a great environment and we let them down," Thomas said. The Razorbacks did finally show some life and connect on a few shots, scoring 8 of the half's last 10 points.

That was capped by Thomas' two free throws that cut it to 35-22 with 26 seconds left before the break.

"Texas Tech got us out of sync and we simply did not make the shots," Ervin said. "We did not do as good a job today as we have in the past of getting open looks."

Arkansas will continue its Southwest Conference retro tour of sorts when it plays at Texas on Wednesday night.


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