Bob Holt is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Missouri, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and a voter for the Heisman Trophy and AP Top 25 basketball poll. Holt has been awarded Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year twice.
Hogs come out scoring after layoff
Arkansas Florida International Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, during the second half of play in Bud Walton Arena. Visit nwadg.com/photos to see more photographs from the game.
FAYETTEVILLE -- The University of Arkansas basketball team enjoyed its highest-scoring game in nine seasons with a 121-89 victory over Florida International on Saturday night in Walton Arena.
It was the most points the Razorbacks have scored since they opened the 2009-10 season by beating Alcorn State 130-68.
Arkansas men vs. Colorado State
WHEN 9 p.m. Central on Wednesday
WHERE Moby Arena, Fort Collins, Colo.
RECORDS Arkansas 5-1; Colorado State 4-4.
TELEVISION CBS Sports Network
RADIO Razorback Sports Network
"I said it was going to be an entertaining game -- and it was," Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson said. "A lot of offense and there was some defense played."
The Razorbacks (5-1) played full-court pressure defense as did FIU (7-2), which came into the game averaging 96.9 points against a schedule that included two NAIA teams -- Webber International and Ave Maria -- and Johnson & Wales of NCAA Division III.
"We got a lot of transition stuff," Anderson said. "We really attacked."
The Razorbacks -- playing their first game in eight days since beating Texas-Arlington 78-60 on Nov. 23 -- shot a season-high 60.9 percent from the field (42 of 69) and had 26 assists.
"We shared the basketball," Anderson said. "We found the right guys at the right time."
That especially applied to freshman guard Isaiah Joe, who led the Razorbacks with 34 points.
Joe hit 11 of 14 shots, including 10 of 13 three-pointers, and doubled his previous season-high of 17 points in the opener against Texas.
Having an opponent that would run with the Razorbacks, Joe said, made for a fun game.
"This is the way that we play, the way we practice against each other," Joe said. "It wasn't anything we hadn't already seen before. We're the 'Fastest 40'. That's what we do. We get up and down."
Arkansas sophomore forward Daniel Gafford had 23 points, 12 rebounds and 4 blocked shots.
"He's a pro. He's a lottery pick," FIU Coach Jeremy Ballard said. 'He's a perfect fit for [Anderson's] system. I think the staff's done a great job of developing him.
"I think his improvement from last year to this year is a testament to the young man, but also a testament to their staff and what they've done to get him to this point. He's an impressive player on both ends."
Sophomore guard Mason Jones had 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Razorbacks. Sophomore point guard Jalen Harris had 9 points, 10 assists and 1 turnover.
Arkansas forward Adrio Bailey -- the only scholarship junior on a team without a senior -- had 10 points, 4 rebounds and 4 blocked shots.
"Adrio is like an old man out there," Anderson said. "He's consistent in what he does each and every night. That's good to know you've got that."
The Razorbacks have nine newcomers and were picked in preseason poll to finish 10th in the SEC.
"It's impressive what they've done so far having so many newcomers," Ballard said. "They're young, they're hungry, they're out to prove the naysayers wrong, the people that picked them 10th in their conference. I think they're well on their way to doing that."
Arkansas jumped out to a 17-5 lead, but the Panthers closed the gap to 24-20.
"We kind of had that big lull where we stayed on 24 for a while," Anderson said. "Then we inserted some more guys in there and we got some runs going."
After being stuck on 24 points for a 2:38 span, the Razorbacks closed out the first half with a 34-15 surge that put them ahead 58-35 at halftime.
The Razorbacks scored 63 points in the second half when they shot 67.7 percent (21 of 31) from the field.
"We've got to learn how to play with a lead," Anderson said. "We had a lead and I thought we kind of got a little lax with it.
"But overall the energy, the effort after an eight-day layoff, we progressed a little bit."
Sports on 12/03/2018
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