Arkansas 71, Midwest All-Stars 47 (Final)

Eric Ferguson led the scoring and everyone contributed in the rebounding department as Stan Heath's basketball team completed a sweep of its two exhibition foes.

Arkansas wrapped up the exhibition season by pounding the Midwest All-Stars, 71-47, in a game that produced a major scare for coach Stan Heath.

Guard Eric Ferguson, the leading scorer in both exhibition victories, went down with a blow to his right quadriceps with 9:24 left in the second half. After laying on the court for a couple of minutes, then heading to the locker room for some medical attention, Ferguson returned to play the final seven minutes with just a slight limp.

Ferguson led the Hogs with 18 points, but it wasn't the scoring of anyone on the home team that seemed noteworthy. Heath's rebounding focus paid off to the tune of a 59-37 edge on the glass, including 30-18 in the second half.

"We've really worked hard on rebounding, and maybe we are getting better there," Heath said. "We were more aggressive tonight, and I thought Carl Baker set the tone in the first half and the rest of the team became more aggressive. Dionisio Gomez had a double-double (13 points, 12 rebounds) and he was aggressive, too."

Heath left the bench to walk to the other end to check on his freshman point guard when the Bronx, N.Y., star went to the floor in front of the Midwest bench.

"He's so tough that it scared me," Heath said. "Whenever a coach sees a player grab his knee, there is always concern."

Ferguson's injury was a bruised quad, or a charley horse, said trainer Dave England.

"He'll be sore for a few days, but he'll be okay," England said. "It's not a serious injury. I told him it was okay to go back in and he wanted to play."

Blake Eddins said, "Scared the crap out of me. Eric is about as tough as they come. Usually, when he gets hit or hurt in practice, he just bounces up when everyone else might stay down. So it scared me. He just was laying there and not really moving much."

Ferguson made 8 of 14 from the field. He took only three treys, after gunning 10 treys in the first exhibition game.

"We didn't want to shoot so many threes today," Ferguson said. "I wanted to take it to the glass more tonight, and get it to my big men inside. If the three is open, I'll take it, but it wasn't so much open tonight."

Heath wanted more effort to get it inside and less reliance on the three.

"I will say that I don't mind Eric taking threes," Heath said. "And, I think he played against two very good guards. Andrew Mitchell, who was my point guard last year at Kent State, is an excellent player, and I know that you aren't going to get as many open looks against him. So, part of it was the opposition, but we did want to try to get it inside a little more and get to the foul line more. We did that."

The Hogs have six days to prepare for the season opener Friday night against Jackson State at Bud Walton Arena. Attendance for Saturday's exhibition was 14,134.

The Box:

Midwest All-Stars (47)

Willis 1-5 0-0 0-0 5 3 2
Butler 0-5 0-0 4-6 5 4 4
Stephens 1-4 0-0 2-2 2 2 4
Mitchell 2-15 0-6 3-4 1 1 7
Grays 5-15 3-10 2-2 4 2 15

Brown 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Craft 1-2 0-0 0-0 2 0 2
Jones 4-9 0-1 4-6 5 4 12
Harmon 0-1 0-0 1-3 8 5 1
Barrett 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0

Totals 14-57 3-17 16-23 37 22 47

Arkansas 71

Baker 2-6 0-1 0-0 9 0 4
Gomez 5-10 0-0 3-4 12 4 13
Lane 2-7 0-0 2-4 4 2 6
Ferguson 8-14 0-3 2-4 6 1 18
Davis 3-13 0-5 0-0 5 2 6

Jones 3-8 1-4 5-6 4 1 12
Eddins 1-2 1-2 0-0 3 2 3
Modica 2-5 0-2 3-7 2 3 7
Sullivan 1-9 0-0 0-1 7 0 2
Mukubu 0-3 0-1 0-0 5 0 0
Blackmon 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0
Hudspeth 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0

Totals 27-77 2-18 15-26 59 15 71

Halftime score: Arkansas 31, Midwest 21.


 


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