No. 9 Memphis 94, Arkansas 72
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) _ Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson knows what it takes to be among college basketball’s elite, having won the national championship in 1994 and been runner-up last season.
He thinks all that Memphis needs is a little better fan support.
``If they fill up the place and get behind their kids, that’s what it takes to win a national championship,″ Richardson said Thursday after his Razorbacks dropped a 94-72 decision to No. 9 Memphis.
The Tigers (12-2), playing one of their best games of the season, used a 19-1 second-half run to pull away from Arkansas (9-6).
Memphis got strong play from reserves Rodney Newsom and Chad Allen. Newsom connected on 7-of-12 shots from 3-point range for a game-high 23 points, while Allen, collecting eight of his nine rebounds on the offensive end, finished with 20 points. Center Lorenzen Wright also had 20 points for the Tigers.
``The first half we got a little crazy out there by rushing our offense and taking quick shots, which is what Arkansas wanted,″ Memphis coach Larry Finch said.
``In the second half, we played exceptionally well on both ends of the floor. We moved the ball, scored off the break and off our offensive play. We were ready and played with chemistry. I can’t say enough about the way Chad Allen and Rodney Newsom played. Coming into the game, our bench wasn’t scoring a lot, but that all changed.′
Jesse Pate led Arkansas with 19 points, while Lee Wilson finished with 13 points and just a team-high six boards as the Razorbacks were outrebounded 48-27. Derek Hood scored 11 coming off the bench, while Kareem Reid added 10.
``Newsom got the hot hand,″ Richardson said. ``He reminded me of some kids we had last year.
``Chad Allen was the big difference in the game. Lorenzen is going to get his, but if anyone gave them a chance to win, it was (Allen).″
Returning to the subject of fan support, Richardson said Finch deserves a lot more of it _ and less criticism.
``Memphis should turn off their radio and support their team,″ he said. ``The last laugh might be the ones that don’t want Larry here. If they don’t listen to the radio in this town, (Memphis) will have a hell of a season. Talk show are guys with a six-pack of beer, half drunk, trying to coach a game.″