No. 9 Memphis 94, Arkansas 72
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) _ Memphis has not been very dependent on its bench players this year, but the reserves showed Thursday night they are there if needed.
Rodney Newsom came off the bench to hit 7-of-12 3-pointers and scored 23 points as No. 9 Memphis beat Arkansas 94-72. Reserve center Chad Allen collected 20 points and nine rebounds, including eight on the offensive glass.
``We were ready and played with chemistry,″ Memphis coach Larry Finch said. ``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.″
Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson had seen long-range scoring from his Razorbacks in previous years, but had to look at Newsom knocking down the 3-pointers on this night.
``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. (Memphis center) Lorenzen (Wright) is going to get his, but if anyone gave them a chance to win, it was (Allen).″
Newsom also had eight rebounds as the Tigers ended Arkansas’ four-game winning string in the series.
Wright added 20 points for the Tigers (12-2).
Jesse Pate led the Razorbacks (9-6) with 19 points and Lee Wilson had 13. Derek Hood came off the bench for 11 and Kareem Reid finished with 10.
Memphis broke the game open midway through the second half with a 19-1 run over a 4:44 stretch, led by the 3-point shooting of Newsom.
Arkansas didn’t get closer than 15 thereafter.
Memphis led 50-42 at the break behind the inside play of Wright and Allen. Wright had 13 in the half, and Allen, who moved to center after Wright picked up his second foul, had 10 mainly from five offensive rebounds.
Wilson led the Razorbacks with nine points before intermission.
The Tigers built an 11-point lead, biggest in the half, with nine unanswered points late in the period.
Arkansas opened the second half with seven straight points to cut the advantage to 50-49. Wilson’s 5-foot hook capped a 10-0 run over the two halves to cut the advantage to one. A steal by Memphis followed by Cedric Henderson’s dunk stopped the run at 16:42.
The Razorbacks tied it 55-55 on a 12-footer by Antwon Hall, but Memphis, behind Newsom’s outside shooting, went on its 19-1 run, building a 74-56 lead with 9:39 left when Wright scored on an 8-foot hook.
At one point during the Tigers’ run, Newsom hit three consecutive 3-pointers. Then Allen went to work inside, scoring six straight points.