Townes Enjoys Huge First Half

FAYETTEVILLE -- Maybe he was too busy hustling on defense and feeding him with passes during his unique playing time in Friday night's Red White Game to notice.

But Arkansas coach John Pelphrey took one look at the statistics and couldn't believe his eyes.

"I didn't realize the first half Darian (Townes) had," Pelphrey said. "I'm looking forward to going back and seeing that on film."

In fact, Townes had the best statistical night of any Razorback. He scored 21 points and grabbed six rebounds in the first half. The 6-foot-10 senior finished with a game-high 25 points.

The most impressive part, at least to Townes, was his free-throw shooting. Townes shot 56 percent from the free-throw line last season. But he connected on nine of his 11 attempts Friday night.

"I worked so hard on that this summer," Townes said. "I can't even tell you how many free throws I shot."

Welsh On Point

The Red team secured an 84-78 victory behind a balanced attack. All five players scored in double figures -- Charles Thomas and Stefan Welsh each scored 19 points, Levan Patsatsia and Vincent Hunter each tallied 18 and Steven Hill had 10.

Welsh set the tone for that with his unselfishness. With Gary Ervin and Patrick Beverley out because of suspensions, the combo guard spent all of his time running the point.

"I was trying to make the extra pass all night," Welsh said.

He also nailed five-of-six free throws in the game's final minute.

"Welsh had some good moments," Pelphrey said. "Stef did a good job taking the ball to the basket. He turned his jets on a little bit, showed some explosiveness.

"He responded. I was over there yelling at him to make a correction, and he got back to playing basketball really quickly."

Pleased With Tempo

Pelphrey was pleased with the pace of Friday night's game. He complimented Welsh and Marcus Britt for getting their respective teams into fast-break situations. And he was excited about the amount of full-court pressing both teams were able to do.

After most made baskets, both teams pressed -- sometimes zone presses, sometimes man-to-man presses with traps.

"We worked on (the press) purposely," Pelphrey said. "Just so these guys could understand what it feels like to have to compete under fatigue and make plays."


Assistant coach Isaac Brown played one minute in Friday night's game while Welsh was looked at by trainer Dave England. Welsh sprained an ankle but returned to the game and looked fine. ... Three-point shooting is a concern for Pelphrey, but Hunter, Patsatsia and Britt combined to drain 13 of their 19 attempts from beyond the arc. ... Welsh said the Razorbacks held no animosity toward the three suspended players -- Michael Washington is the other -- and would "embrace them immediately when they returned to practice."

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