The biggest players, stats and quotes from Arkansas’ 86-51 victory Delaware State on Saturday night at Bud Walton Arena.
Anthlon Bell was 4 of 6 from three-point range Saturday night.
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Sophomore guard B.J. Young
Young finished with a game-high 19 points, hitting 8 of 9 shots. He was perfect from three-point range (2 of 2) and from the free-throw line (1-1) and didn’t miss a shot until 15:12 remained in the game. It was his 37th career double-digit scoring performance.
Freshman guard Anthlon Bell
Bell was second on the team in scoring, finishing with 12 points, but more important, he found his stroke from long range. In the previous four games, Bell was a combined 2 of 11 from three-point range. Saturday night, he went 4 of 6 from beyond the arc.
63.0 Arkansas’ shooting percentage in the first half, which ended with Arkansas leading 43-18.
30.4 Delaware State’s shooting percentage in the first half.
13 Number of Razorbacks who scored in the game. Every player who dressed out got in the game. Davion Spivey was the only one who didn’t score.
10-19 Arkansas’ shooting from three-point range.
Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson: “I thought it was a good way for our guys to end the nonconference schedule. I thought defensively, we took Delaware State out of some things that they’re accustomed to doing. I thought we sped the game up. You wouldn’t know that starting out the game. They went up 8-4, and I thought the game was at their pace. They spread the floor and did a good job of attacking us. But I thought as we went to our bench, we started getting more energy guys, guys coming out there really just harassing, deflecting passing, rebounding the ball.”
Anderson on junior forward Coty Clarke, who was not at Saturday’s game: “He had a family emergency. He’ll be ready for the conference opener (Wednesday at Texas A&M).”
Anderson on Bell: “Tonight we saw him in rhythm. Our guys did a good job of getting the ball to him, and he was out there for some significant amount of minutes, and that makes a difference as well. You can see our guys got the confidence in him, and that’s going to be needed, especially as we go throughout this season. People are going to target in on B.J. They’re going to target on Marshawn Powell as well as Mardracus (Wade). So we’ve got to have somebody that can really extend the defense.”
Anderson on Young: “I thought he was really focused. I really thought he was. He made some tremendous passes out there. I just thought his intensity, his focus was totally different. You talk about a guy that was kind of zoned in, he was zoned in tonight.”
Bell on Arkansas’ season-high 58.2 percent shooting from the field: “That just means we shared the ball. We took high percentage shots. Taking the first good look instead of taking the second bad look.”
Bell on what the veterans have told the freshmen about SEC play, which starts Wednesday at Texas A&M: “They always talk to us. They talk about how physical it is, how the refs might not call everything you get in nonconference play. They said just come out ready to play.”
Freshman forward Jacorey Williams on Arkansas’ 34-4 run in the first half: “I feel like the bench came off with a lot of energy. I feel like we trapped more ball screens and got into guys a little bit. So it was hard for them to run their offense. We kind of messed up everything for them on the offensive end.”
The bottom line
Arkansas did exactly what it needed to do in its last nonconference game. The defense in large part created the offense. There weren’t as many silly fouls. Every player who dressed out got some minutes. And the Hogs’ confidence got a boost as their winning streak extended to five games.
After Delaware State jumped out to an 8-4 lead, Arkansas started subbing, and the backups helped provide a spark. For the night, Arkansas’ bench produced 41 of its 86 points. Michael Qualls was disruptive on the press and did some more damage around the rim. Bell was big from beyond the arc. And Jacorey Williams showed his versatility, as Anderson described it.
The next one
Arkansas (9-4) opens SEC play on the road Wednesday at Texas A&M (10-3) in an ESPNU-televised matchup. The Aggies are 8-1 at Reed Arena this season, including Thursday’s 67-59 win over Houston Baptist, and Wednesday’s game is the final one in a five-game homestand.
Senior guard Elston Turner is the Aggies’ leading scorer, averaging 15.5 points per game this season. He’s scored in double figures 13 straight games.