Arkansas Basketball rolls past UT-Martin

Arkansas Basketball

Coty Clarke (Photo Credit: Gareth Patterson/AP)

The Arkansas basketball team had five players score in double figures to help contribute to the 102-56 win over the University of Tennessee-Martin Thursday night.

Freshman Bobby Portis and senior Coty Clarke led the way in scoring with 15 points each. They both also grabbed nine boards. It was Portis’ sixth straight game in double figures.

Freshman Moses Kingsley continued to improve and posted his first career double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. He was a monster on the boards.

Michael Qualls added 11 points, all of which came in the second half. Rashad Madden also added 11 points. Madden has scored 10 or more points in five straight games and in six of the last seven games.

In their first game in seven days, after taking the week off for finals, Arkansas shot an astounding 60.9 percent (42 of 69) from the field, while holding UT-Martin to only 27.5 percent (19 of 69).

The margin of victory matched the largest for Arkansas this season, who leads the Southeastern Conference in scoring at 86.8 points per game. The win also extended their home game win streak to 21.

It was the second time Arkansas topped the 100-point mark this season and the loss was the worst of the season for UT-Martin, topping a 30-point loss to UNLV.

Arkansas sure didn’t look like they had a week off from playing. They came out firing. Clarke hit a shot from the elbow and Portis hit a three from the top of the key to start the game.

Arkansas led 49-25 at halftime on 60 percent shooting. They continued to pull away in the second half thanks to their outstanding three point shooting. The Hogs hit 6 three’s in the second half and there were seven different players that hit a three during the game.

The Hogs frontcourt showed exactly why they are the best that Arkansas has seen in a very long time. They outscored UT-Martin in the paint (54-18) and outrebounded the Skyhawks (49-31). Portis, Clarke and Kingsley dominated the inside and combined for 42 points, 30 rebounds and seven blocks.

But, it wasn’t just the big men who got it done, the guards contributed, especially on the defensive side. The Razorbacks defense forced 13 turnovers and scored 21 points off turnovers. Arkansas played with excitement and their speed and pressure was too much for the Skyhawks to handle.

Mardracus Wade made an appearance for the first time in three games. He played 11 minutes but was scoreless and committed four fouls.  Wade has been nonexistent this season, after being predicted to be one of the best shooters and defenders on the team.

Things are still looking promising for the Hogs this season. They are putting up points, winning the boards, forcing turnovers and scoring off turnovers, playing hard and playing together.

Arkansas will return to action in Little Rock on Saturday, Dec. 21 when they take on South Alabama.