On a night when not a whole lot went right for Arkansas, junior Ky Madden and freshman Bobby Portis shined in a 72-43 win over Savannah State.
Madden finished with a career-high 21 points on 8-of-11 shooting, 3-of-4 from deep, and Portis added his first career double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Senior Coty Clarke was the only other Razorback with more than 7 points. He finished a basket shy of a double-double of his own, pouring in eight points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
Arkansas got off to a bad start in the first half, leading only 27-25 at the halftime break. The Razorbacks shot 1-of-10 from three-point range, and 6-of-12 from the foul line in the first half, allowing Savannah State to hang around.
“There was no effort,” head coach Mike Anderson said of the team’s first half play. “They were controlling tempo, and it seemed like we were playing on our heels. But I thought in the second half we imposed our will.”
Michael Qualls, who was suspended for the first half of the game for being late to practice, scored seven points and grabbed three rebounds in 16 second half minutes.
The second half was a different story for the Razorbacks, holding Savannah State to just 18 points. The Arkansas depth was also big in the second half, getting 20 points from its bench players.
“It started on the defensive end. We started getting stops, getting easy baskets off of steals,” Madden said of the second half surge. Arkansas finished the game with 10 blocks, including five from freshman Moses Kingsley.
Arkansas forced 19 turnovers for the game versus just seven assists for the Tigers. Arkansas, on the other hand, assisted on 15 of 27 made baskets.
The Razorbacks knocked down 4-of-9 shots from distance and shot 50 percent in the second half, scoring on 22 of 34 possessions, building an insurmountable lead.
“Obviously, if (Anderson) can constantly get his guys to buy into what he’s trying to accomplish here, they’re going to be pretty good,” Savannah State head coach Horace Broadnax said.
Arkansas moves to 7-2 with the victory, and will be back in Bud Walton Arena next Thursday against the University of Tennessee-Martin at 7 p.m.