Matt Jones is the online sports director for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A double graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and voter for the Biletnikoff Award.
Hogs roll past High Point
Arkansas forward Bobby Portis smiles during the second half of play Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, in Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE Bobby Portis scored 16 points and added nine rebounds as Arkansas beat High Point 89-48 Saturday night.
Portis added three steals and three assists, turning in one of his most complete performances as a freshman.
"He's been coming along," Arkansas coach Mike Anderson said of Portis, a high school McDonalds All-American. "You look back at the (last) game in Little Rock he was 5-for-5 in the first half and led us in rebounding. He gets better every game.
"I thought it was a very complete performance by our basketball team from start to finish."
The Razorbacks (10-2) opened the game on a 13-2 run and never trailed. Arkansas extended the nation's fourth longest home win streak to 22 games at Bud Walton Arena.
RECORDS: Arkansas 10-2; High Point 3-8
LEADING SCORERS: Arkansas, Bobby Portis 16; High Point, Devante Wallace 13.
TURNING POINT: Bobby Portis had 4 points, a rebound, an assist and a steal in the first 2:16 as Arkansas built a 7-0 lead.
NOTABLE: The Razorbacks had 12 different players score.
"I think it just shows how dominant we can be at home," Portis said. "Hopefully in conference play we can bring the same show on the road."
High Point (3-8) couldn't handle the Razorbacks' pressure defense throughout the game. Arkansas forced 25 turnovers by the Panthers, converting them into 36 points.
Ten different Razorbacks had at least one steal and Arkansas recorded a season-high 17 steals while displaying a relentless full court press. Anderson said his staff charted 37 deflections on defense.
"Even when we got out of traps we didn't complete passes," High Point coach Scott Cherry said. "It's hard to simulate the size and athleticism and the way they play the game in practice because we don't have the same kind of players.
"They are really good at what they do. It's hard to win games when you turn it over that much."
The Razorbacks took a 42-23 lead at halftime on an Alandise Harris jumper as time expired. Arkansas hit 19 of 36 shots in the second half to pull away.
Moses Kingsley scored 12 points and had nine rebounds, and Michael Qualls scored 12 points for the Razorbacks, while Coty Clarke and Anthlon Bell added 11 apiece. Devante Wallace led High Point with 13 points.
Bell hit a pair of 3-pointers and made all three free throws when he was fouled on an outside shot. The sophomore guard scored his most points since the Razorbacks' fourth game of the season.
"I guess you could say it was just about getting my rhythm back," Bell said. "I feel good. I feel like I can go into the next game and do even better."
Arkansas has won six straight games since a loss to Gonzaga at the Maui Invitational last month.
This story was syndicated by The Associated Press