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Arkansas Razorbacks 72, South Alabama Jaguars 60: Just Keep Winning


Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p>Small city, big dreams. I been waiting on this day since I was 16. <a href=";src=hash">#Backintherock</a> <a href=";src=hash">#WeHogs</a></p>&mdash; Bobby BP Portis (@BPortistime) <a href="">December 21, 2013</a></blockquote>

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That's really all you need to know about this game.

The Razorbacks got off to a slow start, scoring just eight points in the first nine minutes of the game, but the team finally got going, highlighted by a 11-0 run late in the first half with the last three baskets coming courtesy of Bobby Portis.

Portis, playing in his hometown for the first time as a Razorback, was magnificent in the first half, scoring 12 total points and grabbing three rebounds. The 12 points represented a third of Arkansas' total output in the first 20 minutes, and they weren't easy baskets. A few of the baskets came on plays that required him to use his size and power, and one shot was a three from the top of the key.

Fortunately, South Alabama was also struggling from the field and the Hogs went into halftime with a nine point lead.

Things were looking good for Arkansas at the beginning of the second half, but the team hit a major drought, scoring just two total points over an eight-minute span. Rickey Scott left the game after taking what appeared to be an elbow or forearm to the face. The Jaguars cut the double digit lead to just three points with about nine minutes to go, but who came in to save the day but Mardracus Wade.

Wade, who's struggled early this season and didn't even get in the game against Savannah State and Clemson, scored five points in about 30 seconds, Michael Qualls threw down another monster dunk that should end up on SportsCenter, and that was basically that for the Jaguars.

Hopefully, this is a sign of positive things to come from Wade. He's only attempted 13 shots this season, making six, and you can see the talent is still there, he's just struggled to show it so far this year. But he would be a very valuable player going forward if he can play up to his abilities. Especially considering the relative lack of scoring Arkansas' gotten out their backcourt lately other than Madden. Tonight, Anthlon Bell, Kikko Haydar and Fred Gulley combined to go 0-8 from the field.

Alandise Harris, the junior transfer who also hails from Little Rock, also had a great game scoring 10 points in 21 minutes to go along with six rebounds, three blocks, two assists, and a steal.

Rashad Madden and Qualls both finished in double digits to help lead the Hogs to their ninth win.

Even though the Razorbacks didn't shoot the ball as well as they have been in Fayetteville (the team was 5-17 from three for 29.4%), and narrowly lost the overall rebounding battle, the team did enough to to slow down South Alabama and win relatively comfortably.  The Hogs blocked eight shots, collected 10 steals, scored 22 points off turnovers and let the Central Arkansas fans go home happy.

The Razorbacks have two more non conference games, which will both be in Fayetteville on the next two Saturdays.