Arkansas Responds In Positive Manner

FAYETTEVILLE —Arkansas was able to shake the cobwebs of a Christmas break and avoid a hangover from last weekend.

Its 85-60 win against Louisiana-Monroe in Bud Walton Arena on Saturday was a far cry from its 74-67 loss against Appalachian (N.C.) State in North Little Rock in Alltel Arena the week before.

Before that Appalachian State game, Razorbacks coach John Pelphrey threatened to keep his team home for the holidays if it didn't win.

"We were scared," Razorbacks swingman Sonny Weems said. "We were like in the locker room, ‘Put the stuff back on the bus.' I think he thought we needed some time off.

"We knew we needed to come back, knowing we are going to try and win every game for him."

Arkansas looked like a different team Saturday.

"I thought we responded real well," Razorbacks forward Darian Townes said. "We knew coming into this team this team was a good 3-point shooting team and they had a big victory against Iowa.

"We just came out and played real strong and came out and played the way coach wanted us to play."

Still, the memories of last weekend's loss lingered.

"Obviously, that was heavy on our minds, but coach always says, ‘Keep the past in the past,'" Arkansas forward Charles Thomas said. "We lost and we can't do anything about it, just need to move on to the next team." Arkansas did exactly that, looking toward the immediate future.

"Every team comes in thinking they can win," Weems said. "You know, we don't like losing. There were a couple of games we just came up short. We've just got to get them back.

"It feels real good. We had a nice little break, got our minds off of things, the loss. Of course, you had to hear some things from the fans back home. It was good to get this win, coming off the break. We had some crucial practices.

"We have a week before we play Baylor. We wanted to get this win or the practices were going to be hell, so we had to come out and get this one."



Britt Misses This One Out

Arkansas freshman guard Marcus Britt didn't play in Saturday's game because of an ankle sprain, but is expected to return for the next game.

"It was bad enough to keep him out," Pelphrey said. "We don't think it's a high-ankle sprain. We expect him to be ready for our next game.

"Of course, we've got a week before we play again."



Coming Attractions

Arkansas plays its last nonconference game on Jan. 5 against Baylor in Dallas in the American Airlines Center.

The Razorbacks then open their Southeastern Conference schedule at Auburn on Jan. 10.

Three days later, Arkansas plays Alabama in Bud Walton Arena.



Tip-Ins

Razorbacks walk-on Stephen Cox made an early appearance Saturday. He entered the game for Weems with 15 minute left in the first half and Arkansas trailing 14-13. Cox played two minutes in the first half and had one assist and one personal foul ... Among its six wins, ULM won at Iowa 72-67 in overtime Nov. 30 ... Razorbacks assistant coach Isaac Brown played his college basketball at Louisiana-Monroe (then known as Northeast Louisiana) in 1992-93 ... Hogs center Stephen Hill, who scored seven points in five minutes in the first half, got his fourth foul with 16:48 left in the game.

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