Arkansas 72, Louisiana Tech 60 (Final)

Arkansas turned to a quartet of high-flying freshman to turn back Louisiana Tech at Bud Walton Arena.

Jonathon "Pookie" Modica scored 19 points to lead four freshmen into double figures as Arkansas snapped a four-game losing streak with a 72-60 victory over Louisiana Tech before 10,611 at Bud Walton Arena on Tuesday night.

Modica scored 15 points in the the game's first 23 minutes, then finished off his night with a dunk in the closing seconds.

Eric Ferguson and Kendrick Davis each added 16 points and Rashard Sullivan scored 10 on 5 of 6 shooting. Sullivan's windmill dunk in the closing second provided a fitting conclusion to his best game as a Razorback.

Modica, Ferguson, Davis and Sullivan combined to score 61 of the Hogs' 72 points.

The Hogs led by 30-25 at the half and kept their lead between 6 and 11 points in the second half. The Hogs nailed 6 of 10 treys in the second half and connected on 15 of 27 overall after intermission.

"Modica really played well tonight," said Arkansas coach Stan Heath. "He always brings energy to the floor, but now he's developed a nice, dependable 3-point shot. When he gets his feet set, he usually makes it. He really gives us a lift. He got us going tonight and was our player of the game."

Heath said he didn't care who provided the scoring when someone mentioned the percentage of points provided by his newcomers.

"I'll take production wherever we can get it," he said. "Tonight it was the young guys. Another night, it might be the seniors. I'm not being picky."

Sullivan had a breakout game, but no one seemed surprised.

"He's been coming early and staying late," said Byron Boudreaux, the Hogs' assistant who works with the inside players. "He's got a nice shot facing the basket and he's really spent a lot of time working on it. He's fun to coach. I can tell you one thing, he has a really live body out there on the floor. He's starting to calm down and play like he can.

"It's tough sometimes on a freshman. They get homesick and they have to figure out the academics. Sometimes the basketball is the last thing they figure out. It looks like the basketball is starting to come to him now. He has worked so hard. It paid off tonight."

Blake Eddins said, "I've been in the gym at night and you always see Rashard in there, too, working on his shot. He's put in the extra time and you knew it was going to come at some point."

Eddins was pleased to see the freshmen step forward.

"What you have to remember is that we have some seniors on this team that have never been more than role players in college," Eddins said. "We've been trying to step up, but it's hard to change that mindset when you aren't supposed to be the go-to guy. The freshmen are doing it, and I'm so happy. I just want a victory. We had to have it and I'm glad for those guys. They are the core of our team or at least that's what you have to believe at this point."


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