Sophomore guard Jaxson Robinson gave the exiting crowd at Bud Walton Arena one last reason to cheer Wednesday as he slammed a dunk home with 2:40 left in No. 10 Arkansas' 97-60 win over Central Arkansas.
The Razorbacks relied on senior guard Stanley Umude often in the first half, especially in the high post. He found a lot of success with his post fadeaway from 15 feet, which allowed him to put it on the floor and take it to the rim. Umude finished the half with a game-high 15 points and shot 6-11 from the field.
“We really need to punch the ball inside to the mid-post,” Arkansas head coach Eric Musselman said in the postgame press conference. “Stan was providing high-percentage shots, even the ones that didn’t fall for him. He is really, really good in that midrange because he can rise over people.”
The Hogs’ seven turnovers and 12 missed free throws in the first half kept them from putting UCA away early. With 6:38 remaining in the first half, the Bears took a 24-23 lead, but that was quickly erased by a 6-0 Razorback run in 31 seconds.
Arkansas held on to a multiple-possession lead the rest of the half and went into the locker room up 41-35.
UCA went to a 2-3 zone to open the second half, which allowed senior guard Au’Diese Toney to take over for the Razorbacks. He started off a perfect 6-6 from the field for 14 points. After a Toney layup put the Hogs up 56-41 with 16:48 remaining, UCA went back to man-to-man defense.
“At halftime I told Au’Diese that he had about a minute and a half to play,” Musselman said. “I didn’t think he gave us much of anything in the first half. I thought he came out at half and attacked the rim as if he did not want to come out of the game.”
The Bears came within 18 points with 12:10 on the clock, but that was the last time the difference in the game was fewer than 20. The Hogs went on a 19-2 run over a 12-minute period to take an 82-49 lead and put the game firmly in hand.
Umude was the leading scorer for the Hogs with 17, but he only made two points in the second half. Toney finished the game with 16 points, 14 of which came in the final period.
Sophomore guard Davonte Davis had his best game of the season. He has always been an elite defender, but he struggled to find a consistent offensive role until Wednesday. Davis took the ball to the basket and was rewarded with 16 points, and he led the team in free throws, going 4-7 from the line.
“It has to be fun for me,” Davis said. “I talked to my grandma and my mom, (and) they told me I haven’t been smiling and having fun. If I just continue to have fun and let the game come to me, I’ll continue to play as I did today.”
Sophomore forward Jaylin Williams continued to impact all aspects of the game for the Hogs. He had a career-high 13 rebounds, tied for the team lead in steals and blocks with two each, and took three charges in 27 minutes.
“The thing about Jaylin is he just does what you’re supposed to do to win,” Musselman said. “He just does whatever helps Arkansas. He just is a winning player.”
After a 0-7 shooting performance from senior guard Chris Lykes in Arkansas’ matchup against Penn, Lykes was much more effective with his minutes Wednesday. He facilitated the offense early in the game, allowing the scoring opportunities to come to him. Lykes looked much more engaged on defense and he finished with nine points, five assists and two steals in 21 minutes.
“I thought he played really good offensively,” Musselman said. “That’s the best I’ve seen him create for teammates. His passing tonight when he got into the teeth of the defense was phenomenal. He has got to be a point guard. His vision and his passes are paramount to his success.”
The Razorbacks will look to improve to 8-0 when they face the Little Rock Trojans at 3 p.m. Saturday at Bud Walton Arena. The game will be broadcast on the SEC Network.