The Razorbacks outscored Savannah State 45-18 in the second half en route to improving to 7-2 on the season and stretching their win streak to three games. The Tigers now stand at 2-9.
“I thought we played with a lot more energy in the second half and it resulted in our type of final 20 minutes,” said head coach Mike Anderson, who celebrated his 244th career win on his birthday. “I didn’t like our energy or execution in the first half. We let them (Savannah State) slow the tempo down and we made good adjustments at the half. Defensively, I thought it was one of our better performances and we need that as we draw closer to SEC play.”
Madden’s 21-point night saw the Lepanto, Ark., product go 8-of-11 from the field, including 3-of-4 from three-point range, for his fifth double figure game in his last six outings. Madden’s big night was coupled with the inside presence of reigning SEC Freshman of the Week Bobby Portis who registered his first career double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds, including six on the offensive glass.
Portis and senior Coty Clarke, who had 10 rebounds, were a big part of Arkansas 48-35 edge on the boards, while Arkansas also used its size and athleticism to swat away a season-high 10 shots. Freshman Moses Kingsley led the block party with five rejections, while Portis and redshirt junior Alandise Harris each added two.
Arkansas was able to bounce back from an uncharacteristic first half on the offensive end that resulted in just a 27-25 lead. The Razorbacks hit at a 50 percent clip (17-34) from the field in the second half while holding Savannah State to just seven field goals over the final 20 minutes.
For the game, Arkansas limited the Tigers to less made field goals (16) than turnovers (19), and turned the 19 miscues into a 15-7 advantage in points off turnovers. The Razorbacks have now won the turnover battle in 13 straight games dating back to last year, as they shot 44 percent (27-62) for the game.
Clarke nearly joined Portis in the double-double club with eight points to go along with his 10 rebounds, while senior Rickey Scott Jr. added seven points off the bench.
Arkansas will finish off its four-game homestand at Bud Walton Arena on Thursday, Dec. 19, when it hosts Tennessee-Martin. Tip is slated for 7 p.m. and will be broadcast by Razorback Sports Network.
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