The biggest players, stats and quotes from Arkansas' 73-60 win over Tennessee on Saturday at Bud Walton Arena.
Michael Qualls took advantage of his first start at Arkansas to help lead the Hogs to a win.
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Sophomore guard B.J. Young
Young came off the bench for the Razorbacks on Saturday scoring 25 points along with three rebounds and three assists. Young helped provide the Razorbacks with a boost of energy that allowed Arkansas to continue to remain unbeaten at home in the SEC.
Freshman forward Michael Qualls
Qualls got his first collegiate start and made the most of it. He had seven points, 11 rebounds and two steals. Qualls drew praise from both Young and Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson following the game. Qualls had eight defensive rebounds in the game.
Arkansas' bench scored 46 points in the game. In addition to Young, Hunter Mickelson added 10 points.
The attendance on Saturday that helped provide a spark to Arkansas' game. In addition the crowd got to cheer for Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema and Nolan Richardson as well as some fans talking to Bobby Knight prior to the game.
The Razorbacks forced the Vols into 20 turnovers while only turning it over eight times. Arkansas' pressure defense bothered Tennessee particularly at the start of the game.
Marshawn Powell scored 12 points on Saturday. Powell has been one of Arkansas' most consistent players in conference play with the exception of the first game against Texas A&M.
Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson on Arkansas' 73 points-- “It was great to see us score some points for a change. I think we can attribute that to our effort.”
Anderson on Qualls starting-- “I thought the insertion of Michael Qualls into the lineup really gave us a high energy level. I thought his energy was contagious. I think you saw it spread throughout our entire team.”
Anderson on Arkansas' defense that created 20 turnovers-- “I thought our defense was good. We created tempo in terms of getting the ball up the floor and attacking.”
Anderson on Arkansas' bench play-- “I thought it was a good team win. We had some guys come off the bench that normally start. Hunter Mickelson and B.J. Young. I thought that was the most focused they have been in awhile. I thought that was the difference in the game. Our bench came in and played well. We did a good job of keeping Tennessee on their heels.”
Tennessee Coach Cuonzo Martin on Arkansas' defense-- “Whether they got steals or not they did a good job keeping pressure on the ball forcing us to make tough plays off the dribble, forcing tough passes. Give those guys credit for winning a game at home and competing.”
Arkansas' Qualls on when he found out he would start-- “I didn't know I was going to start until just before tipoff. Basically I just wanted to come out and produce for the team. I was surprised cause coming in before B.J. (Young) you know you've got some big shoes to fill. I just tried to keep up the energy and just basically hold it down for the team and him when he came in.”
Arkansas' Young on what they did to stop Tennessee's Jordan McRae-- “We just kept the pressure on 94 feet. We just wanted to try to give him as hard a time as possible and keep the pressure up for 40 minutes.”
The Bottom Line
Arkansas (13-8, 4-4) continued to keep its perfect home record in the SEC intact with a good win over Tennessee (11-9, 3-5). Arkansas shot 48.3 percent from the field and raced out to a 35-25 lead at intermission.
Arkansas is still trying to figure out how to take its same game on the road, but Saturday was a good win over the Vols who were led by Jarnell Stokes with 18 points and 10 boards. Arkansas played good defense on Saturday in addition to showing a good shooting touch.
The Next One
Arkansas will be at home on Tuesday night to play host to No. 4 Florida who is 17-2 heading into Saturday night's game with Ole Miss in Gainesville.
The Gators will test Arkansas unbeaten status at home in the SEC. Arkansas did lose to Syracuse 91-82 at Bud Walton Arena on Nov. 30. The rest of Arkansas' losses have come on the road or at a neutral site.
The Gators have been blowing teams out and Arkansas will need by far its best performance of the season to stay with Florida.
The game will begin at 6 and be telecast on ESPNU.