True freshman Michael Sanchez's basket broke a tie with 26 seconds left and Michael Washington then hauled in a defensive rebound near the buzzer as the University of Arkansas held off the Quintana Roo Pioneers 60-57 in exhibition basketball action Saturday night in Cancun.
Charles Thomas had 15 points and 13 rebounds, Darian Townes 13 points, freshman LeVan Patsatsia 11 points, Washington 5 points and 12 and Sanchez – the former Springdale Har-Ber standout - had 7 points and 4 rebounds.
"Quintana Roo played very well and anytime you play against a veteran team that can pass and shoot, it creates problems," Razorback head coach John Pelphrey said. "I thought our defense was good, but the point total was low because offensively we really struggled. We've got to be better collectively working as a unit."
Arkansas played without injured players Sonny Weems and Stefan Welsh and also without Patrick Beverley and Marcus Britt, who did not dress for violation of team rules.
That left the Razorbacks playing with just 9 players, including true freshmen Sanchez, Patsatsia and Rakestraw, who started at small forward.
"Patsa" and Sanchez scored the team's final six points with the former hitting a big 3-pointer late, Sanchez cashing in his bucket after chasing down a loose ball with the score 57-57 and then Patsatsia netting a free throw with one second left.
Patsatsia and Rakestraw also had to be the primary ballhandlers late in the game when starting point guard Gary Ervin fouled out.
"I though the freshmen – Patsa, Sanchez and Rakestraw played well," Pelphrey said. "I thought their effort and toughness were tremendous. They made their share of mistakes, but without them we don't win."
Steven Hill had 2 points, 4 rebounds and a block while Rakestraw was held scoreless.
The Razorbacks won despite shooting just 24 of 62 from the field, 3-of-20 from the free throw and just 9-of-26 from the free throw line.
The Razorbacks, playing their first of two exhibition games in Mexico this weekend, fell down 7-0 right off the bat at Cancun's Case de le Culture gymnasium.
But with Townes scoring 7 points, Arkansas rallied to tie the game 14-14 by the end of the first quarter.
Quintana led 34-33 at half before Arkansas managed to take a 48-47 advantage into the final quarter of the game played under international rules.
Arkansas will play again Sunday night at 6 p.m. against Belize before flying home on Monday.
In the opening game of the doubleheader at Casa de le Culture, Baylor downed Belize 115-47.
Arkansas 60, Q-Roos 57
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