UA announced just before the game that sophomore star BJ Young was suspended for Monday's exhibition game as well as Friday's season opener for an unspecified violation of team rules. Young was on the bench (most suspensions result in being sent away from the team during games) so it doesn't appear his violation was too severe. The good news is that Arkansas was able to handle the Magicians easily without him. No matter what sort of opponent Arkansas has faced in several years, it seems doubtful the Razorbacks would dominate this strongly without their best player.
The game was never close. LeMoyne-Owen didn't score until 13:33 remained in the first half, and by that time, the Razorbacks had a double digit lead and never looked back.
It's amazing how loud Bud Walton Arena can become even with such a small crowd. When the Razorbacks began a run late in the first half that was sparked by an alley-oop to Michael Qualls, the crowd was roaring like Arkansas was playing Kentucky. It went dunk-steal-3-block-3 by Kikko. And when Kikko is hitting 3's, say good night.
Here's the latest video highlights from Michael Qualls followed by the game recap from UA. Qualls' second dunk is my favorite.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas men’s basketball team had a few tricks up its sleeves as it downed the LeMoyne-Owen Magicians, 111-45, at Bud Walton Arena in the final exhibition game of the 2012-13 season.
In the exhibition finale every Razorback in the lineup saw playing time and 11 Razorbacks scored en route to the victory. The Razorbacks ability to score in the paint attributed to their success as the Hogs scored 50 points down low and held the Magicians to just 14. Turnovers also spelled trouble for the Magicians as they had 30 turnovers that resulted in 44 Razorback points.
"We did a lot of good things tonight," Head Coach Mike Anderson said. "We shot well, attacked well and forced turnovers. We are going to be a team that is going to attack because we have a lot of skilled guys."
Leading the Razorbacks on the court was junior forward Coty Clarke who recorded a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Also tallying big numbers for the Razorbacks were freshmen Michael Qualls and Jacorey Williams. Qualls picked up 15 points and eight rebounds, while Williams scored 15 points and nabbed seven boards.
Sophomore forward Hunter Mickelson was one-point shy of a double-double as the Jonesboro, Ark., native picked up nine points and 10 rebounds.
To start the game, the Razorbacks put up a strong defensive front holding the Magicians scoreless for the first 6:27 in the first half. By that point the Hogs had racked up 18 points with the last basket of the 18-0 run coming from freshman guard Anthlon Bell as he sank a three-pointer.
The Magicians would rebound from their slump going on an 8-0 run to close the gap, 18-8. With 3:37 left in the first the Razorbacks were able to return to their original 18-point lead with the score set at 35-17. A total of 18 of the Hogs 35 points were off Magician turnovers at this point.
The Razorbacks hit their stride at the very end of the first as Qualls began a momentous Razorback run with a dunk with 1:28 on the clock. As the Magicians took over possession it was Clarke that had the crowd’s attention as he stole the ball seven seconds later and passed it to freshman DeQuavious Wagner who drained a three-pointer, sending the crowd to their feet. The momentum didn’t stop there as 11 seconds later (1:05) Qualls came up with a big block. Fayetteville native Kikko Haydar snagged the defensive rebound and took the ball down the court and drained a three, extending the Razorback lead to 53-19.
As the Razorbacks entered the locker room they had a 27 point lead over the Magicians, 56-19.
Arkansas had runs of 18-0, 7-0, 15-4 and 14-0 in the first half. The Razorbacks outscored LeMoyne-Owen 32-0 over 10:06 on the front and back end of the period. The Razorbacks also out-rebounded the Magicians 36-13 in the first.
Clarke led the Cardinal and White in the first half, nearly picking up a double-double with 11 points and eight rebounds. Clarke had a standout shooting performance, finishing 4-of-5 and a perfect 3-of-3 from the free-throw line.
To start the second half the Hogs went on a 23-10 run that gave them a 50 point lead over the visiting Magicians. The Hogs kept up the pressure as they controlled the speed of the game, keeping the basket elusive by holding the Magicians to just 26 second-half points to the Razorbacks 55.
It was Williams who stepped up in the second half as he totaled 12 points and five rebounds off 5-of-6 shooting.
As a team, the Razorbacks shot 59 percent from the field in the second half and 63 percent from the three-point line to dominate the final 20 minutes. The Razorbacks also dominated the rebounding game as they out-rebounded the Magicians 62-28.
"Coming out tonight our defense set a tone early on," Anderson said. "They were all attuned to one another. The guys are getting really confident. Now we can focus on Sam Houston State as we get ready to open the season."
The Razorbacks will return to the court Friday when they open the regular season against Sam Houston State at 7 p.m. inside Bud Walton Arena.