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Arkansas Razorbacks 111, Southeastern Louisiana Lions 65: Smooth


Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports

"It's starting to look like a Mike Anderson team"

-SLU coach Jim Yarbrough

Not a whole lot of story to this one. The Razorbacks just crushed Southeastern Louisiana. The only real questions in the game were whether Arkansas would grow stagnant with a big lead in the second half (nope), whether Arkansas would beat them by a wider margin than SLU's previous SEC opponents Missouri and LSU (oh yes, both of the Tigers scored 89 in their games), whether Arkansas would score 100 points (yep, easily), and if everybody on the team would score (yes, even Manuale Watkins hit a baseline jumper with about 3:30 left).

The only disappointment is that Arkansas couldn't hold its 50-point lead, which the Hogs held for a few minutes in the second half.

And that's pretty much it.

The Razorbacks went with a unique "All-Arkansas" starting lineup consisting of Arkansas natives Kikko Haydar (his first career start), Rashad Madden, Bobby Portis, Alandise Harris, and Fred Gulley. But it wasn't just a gimmick. The team got off to a hot start with three Haydar threes in those first few minutes, leading people to think this could be remembered as "The Kikko Game" but those nine points ended up being all he would score.

"It was cool," said Haydar about starting the game. He ran the program line about how Mike Anderson always tells the team they have nine or ten starters, but the smile on his face when asked about hearing his name called by the arena announcer as a starter that it was a great moment. And the team appeared excited for him as well.

Portis and Michael Qualls led the team with 16 points each and Coty Clarke scored 15. Madden pitched in 10. The whole team was shooting well. Nobody was worse than 1-for-3 from the field. The Razorbacks were 62.3% from the field overall and 50% from three point range. Arkansas was 8-for-13 from behind the arc in the first half. The Hogs recorded 21 assists on their 38 field goals and forced 24 turnovers.

"They weren't in Hawaii, they were in their building," said Yarbrough when discussing Arkansas' shooting.

No one on the team played more than 18 minutes. If they could've found a way to let Keaton Miles in a uniform, he probably would've scored as well.

It was easily the most complete game of the season. In the first few games, including the exhibition games, the team would either start slow or end slow. This is the first time the Hogs earned a lead, and kept building it as the game went on, culminating in leading by over 50 points until the last couple of minutes in the game.

The only thing missing for most of the night was a big Michael Qualls dunk, and the crowd got a couple of those in the last few minutes, including a big alley-oop in transition.

It was exactly the type of dominant night fans hope for against an overmatched opponent like this.

The Razorbacks will be back in Bud Walton Arena Saturday afternoon to take on Clemson.