Sophomore Rotnei Clarke tossed in 21 points, freshman Marshawn Powell 18 points and 9 rebounds and sophomore Courtney Fortson 18 points and 5 assists as the Univesity of Arkansas routed LeMoyne-Owen 102-69 before 3,233 fans at Bud Walton Arena.
The Razorbacks led just 51-49 at halftime over their Division II foe from Memphis, but smothered the Magicians with improved second half defense that allowed just 15 points in the first 15 minutes after intermission.
"It was fun to get some stops, get some rebounds and get on the break and finish some plays," Arkansas head coach John Pelphrey said. "It was good to kind of get some guys out there because we have had a very short time to get ready for a lot of these young guys. I certainly think we played a little bit better than we did the other night."
On Thursday night, Arkansas shot 56.1 percent from the field, knocked down 6 of 18 3-pointers and hit 22 of 33 free throws.
Clarke led the way by going 8-of-12 from the field, including 4 of 6 on 3-pointers.
Senior center Mike Washington, who had 25 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks on Monday , had 11 points and 7 rebounds while playing just 22 minutes on Thursday.
Freshman Glenn Bryant added 10 points, 6 rebounds and 4 blocks with junior college transfer Jemal Farmer (7 points, 3 rebounds) and freshman point guard Julysess Nobles (4 points, 8 assists) also both starting and playing solid.
"I think those (young) guys attitudes are tremendous on and off the court," Pelphrey said. "They are not perfect, but they get where they are supposed to be, they come to practice, they get to class, they get to study hall, they are coachable. I really appreciate that."
Powell, who missed Monday night's exhibition with the flu, was just 2-of-8 from the floor in the first half but settled down and went 6-of-8 in the second half.
"I thought in the second half he got a little bit more comfortable with spacing and was able to just get in around there and attack a little bit," Pelphrey said.
Powell noted that he was not back to 100 percent yet.
"Not really," Powell said. "The first half was not so good. There was nothing falling for me and I just had to get my head into it. The second half I just came back with more intensity."
They Razorbacks even got a boost off the bench late when redshirting quarterback Brandon Mitchell came on to score 8 points on a steal and dunk, a pull-up jumper and 4-of-4 free throw shooting.
Mitchell, a 6-4 small forward, committed to the LSU basketball program before deciding to sign a football scholarship with Arkansas.
Like Marcus Monk was last season, he could be a football player that really benefits the basketball team.
"I knew if he got in a situation where he could be athletic he was going to be because he is very athletic," Pelphrey said. "He is serious about it. A lot like Monk a year ago, he is an incredible kid to this point and time in my limited experience with him. That excites me because the locker room is very, very important to me. He looks you in the eye and says yes sir and I am excited to see – with that kind of athletic ability – what we can kind of work him into the mix and get."
The Razorbacks raced out to a 16-2 lead before allowing the Magicians to close within two on a couple of occasions – including LaDarius Johnson's bucket near the halftime buzzer that cut it to 51-49.
"That was a good start, but we couldn't get them under control," Pelphrey said. "The second half I think we got a little bit lucky because they missed a few shots around the basket, whether we caused them to miss or what, but then there was a period of time when I thought we just guarded them pretty good. Offense was never going to be the issue with us with 51 points at halftime and Mike in foul trouble and very, very limited number of touches."
Maurice Mickens had 16 points and Johnson 15 to lead LeMoyne-Owen, who lost 98-68 to Memphis on Tuesday night.
That pair had combined for 27 points – many in the lane in the opening half – as the Magicians took advantage of having four guards on the floor at a time including the 6-2 Johnson at power forward.
"We were losing our stance, losing our position while guarding after one bounce and they were basically getting in the lane on our closeouts," Pelphrey said. "We had poor positioning taking away the 3-point shot and we were giving them direct lines to the basket. It was disappointing because it is something that we have worked a tremendous amount on."
The pair had only four points total in the second half on a night when the Magicians were held to just 33.7 percent field goal shooting.
"I think we just did what we wanted to do better," Pelphrey said. "…The only thing we talked about at halftime was just having a better attitude on defense, doing some of the things we practiced.
Fortson said his team just got better defensive intensity at the break.
"I think we stopped talking on defense (after the 16-2 start)," Fortson said. "At first we was…when we stopped talking is when they got back into it. It was more of a vocal thing in the second half."
Pelphrey noted that he has a really vocal team – except on occasions like after getting the big lead.
"Talking is really important and they do it all the time – except on defense sometimes," Pelphrey said. "It is really an amazing deal. These guys never shut up, but then on defense they all get quiet. It is very, very ironic, but I thought we had a better energy about us (after halftime)."
Arkansas pushed that lead to double figures early on in the second half and never looked back.
Powell's dunk made it 100-69 with 1:42 left in the game and Bryant's lay-up with 1:01 remaining gave the Razorbacks their largest lead of the night.
Former Memphis schoolboy sensation Taurean Moy - who once scored 83 points while hitting 24 3-pointers and is now 27 - had just 4 points on 2-of-8 shooting from field and was 0-of-5 from 3-point range.
LeMoyne Owen coach William B. Anderson was real happy with his team's first half effort, but not so much with its play after the break.
"In the second half, we didn't play very smart, we didn't play together and Arkansas size and their experience wore us down," Anderson said. "I think that was the biggest difference in the game."
He thinks both Memphis and Arkansas are going to have good seasons although that might not be the thinking of the so-called experts.
"Everybody that I talked to when we were doing our scouting reports and did our checking, Arkansas is in position to be one of those top teams in the SEC," Anderson said. "I know there is a lot of hype on some other schools, but we have a lot of respect for what Coach Pelphrey and his staff is doing over here and we feel like we played two very good teams.
"We had Memphis down two points with about three minutes to go in the first half and they went on a 16-3 run to close the half we went down 12," Anderson added. "I knew we could compete with Arkansas and our guys felt like they could compete and that's why when Arkansas jumped on us, we were able to keep our composure."
Arkansas will open its regular season next Friday, but the make-up of the team will look different than it did on Thursday night.
That's because the UA will clarify some already announced suspensions for off-court incidents that happen in the off-season and how they will be staggered.
Basically the Razorbacks will let fans and media know – likely during next Wednesday's regular scheduled press conference – exactly who is suspended and how many games each player will miss.
"Well, I think we made progress from Monday, but the bottom line is that in our first game, it will be completely different for us," Pelphrey said, "because there are going to be some people that won't be there. That is one luxury that we have had is that we have had everybody to kind of go to.
"Although I am pleased with the fact that we got a little bit better, we have got to make some progress here in the next six days because our greatest challenge is going to lie ahead of us with what is getting ready to happen."
Marshawn Powell slams one home and LeMoyne-Owens Taurean Moy looks on.
Mike Washington had 11 points and 7 rebounds.
Washington also had 2 of his team's 10 blocks with freshmen Glenn Bryant swatting away a team-high four for the second straight exhibition game.
Rotnei Clarke had a game-high 21 points while going 8-of-12 from the field, including 4 of 6 on 3-pointers.
Courtney Fortson works in the paint against a defender.
Brandon Mitchell scored 8 points off the bench in the game's last 10 minutes.
Marshawn Powell scores inside.