Razorbacks Not Pleased Despite 40-Point Rout

FAYETTEVILLE -- Out of the corner of his eye, Sonny Weems saw five of his teammates rise out of their bench seats in unison. They all walked toward the Bud Walton Arena scorer's table Tuesday night, and the Arkansas senior immediately knew why.

The No. 19 Razorbacks were only 90 seconds into the second half of their 96-56 exhibition victory over NAIA Campbellsville (Ky.) when first-year coach John Pelphrey removed his starters.

Pelphrey was sick of the stagnant defense. He was tired of the sloppy ball-handling. He was perturbed with the overall intensity. And he gave his starters a mean glare, accompanied by a few nasty words, as the announced crowd of 8,476 fans watched with interest.

Weems admitted the starting five deserved the yanking.

"We came out and played off talent," Weems said. "I don't think we came out and played as well as we can. It was terrible. He just told us what we needed to hear and we took it. I can't tell you what he said, but you know it wasn't nice."

The outcome Tuesday night was never in doubt. Arkansas stormed out to a 30-4 lead before the midpoint of the first half and placed five scorers in double figures, led by Patrick Beverley's 20 points.

But all involved, coaches and players, left the contest with a sour taste. No one was thrilled with the Razorbacks' approach. In their exhibition opener last Friday night, the Hogs exuded maximum effort -- from start to finish. But against the Tigers, coached by Pelphrey's high school basketball and baseball teammate Keith Adkins, Arkansas didn't seem too interested after its opening spurt.

"We're talking about our experience level that we've supposedly got," Pelphrey said. "They have to know it's not important who we're playing right now or what the score is, we're trying to play for a bigger picture here, a bigger day.

"I'm not bailing those guys out that when it's 30-4 there's a letdown."

Campbellsville, led by Marcus Nicks' 23 points, went on a 15-5 run after falling behind by 26. The Hogs committed five of their 11 first-half turnovers during the spurt. They finished with 21 in the game, informing Pelphrey and reminding fans of how miscue-prone the Razorbacks were last season.

Arkansas' other brief period of ineptitude came during and after Pelphrey's removal of the starters. The Tigers ripped off 11 straight points, drawing within 54-37, but Arkansas calmly responded with nine consecutive points, including four of Darian Townes' 18.

When Beverley knocked down three 3-pointers in a row, Arkansas led 75-40 with nine minutes left.

Still, the sophomore guard from Chicago wasn't satisfied. He, like his coach, hoped to never see lapses such as Tuesday night's again.

"We're going to try to not make this a habit," Beverley said.

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