ARK MBB 11/28/21

Arkansas guard JD Notae goes up for a contested layup Sunday during the Hogs’ 76-60 win over Penn. Notae led the Razorbacks with 28 points against the Quakers.

The No. 13 Arkansas men’s basketball team overpowered the Penn Quakers 76-60 Sunday at Bud Walton Arena.

Senior guard JD Notae came out of the gate with a tough layup to put Arkansas up 2-0. The Quakers responded with two quick jump shots, and the Razorbacks tied the game at 5-5 with a jumper and a free throw of their own. From there, the Quakers did not lead at any point the rest of the game.

Razorback senior guard Au’Diese Toney carried the momentum over from his MVP performance in the Hall of Fame Classic last week to the first half of the game Sunday. Toney tied for the scoring lead in the first period with 12 points, and shot 5-7 from the field. He was involved in a scuffle at the beginning of the second half and was ejected from the game.

Penn came out in a full-court-press defense that dropped back into a 2-3 zone in the half-court after halftime in an effort to slow down the Hogs. It was unsuccessful, and the Razorbacks went on a 12-1 run to take a 49-27 lead opening the second half.

The Quakers went on a 9-0 run over a four-minute stretch to get the score to 55-43 with 9:52 remaining. The Hogs fired back with a run of their own to put the lead back at 15 with 7:39 left in the game.

A 7-2 run from Penn got the lead down to 66-56 with 4:11 left, but Arkansas went on an 8-0 run to close the door on any potential Quaker comeback.

Senior guard Stanley Umude had a breakout performance Sunday. The graduate transfer had 19 points on 70% shooting. Umude was lethal from mid-range, especially in the soft spot of the zone, and he hit two of his three attempts from 3-point range.

“It feels great,” Umude said in the postgame press conference. “I’m still trying to get comfortable with the offense and figure out where I’m going to be most effective.”

Notae, the Hogs’ leading scorer, was 0-6 from deep, but still finished with 28 points on 13-24 shooting from the field. His performance was improved after he shot poorly in the Razorbacks’ last two outings in the Hall of Fame Classic.

“I thought he made a real conscious effort to take the ball to the cup,” Arkansas head coach Eric Musselman said. “He cut a little bit more. He did make an effort tonight to get to the basket and I think that’s where he’s really lethal. Sometimes he settles too much for his 3 ball, his attacking of the rim is really why we recruited him.”

The Razorbacks struggled with turnovers against Penn. The Hogs ended the game with 15, but made up for it on the glass. Arkansas outrebounded the Quakers 44-28.

“Turnovers are a huge problem,” Musselman said. “A huge issue. Not happy at all. Penn is not a team that turns people over.”

Arkansas could improve to 7-0 when it takes on Central Arkansas at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Bud Walton Arena. The game will be broadcast on the SEC Network.

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