No. 22 Arkansas 92, S. Utah 52
Dec. 28, 1996
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) _ Reserve freshman guard Steve Green showed no fear Saturday, something Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson had hoped for.
Getting a career-high 15 points as No. 22 Arkansas routed Southern Utah, 92-52, Green played confidence.
``Steve Green has to square up and shoot the ball when he's open. He did that today,'' said Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson. ``Sometimes he presses and shoots an airball, then gets timid about shooting. That's typical of a freshman. Today he stepped up and hit his shots.''
Green said he had three good practices since the semester break and wanted to show Richardson he could be one of the players who can produce once the conference season starts Thursday.
Ali Thompson had 16 points. Derek Hood added 12 points and was one of four Arkansas players with six rebounds. The Razorbacks (6-2) scored the first eight points and cruised to a 47-15 halftime lead.
It was the lowest first-half output by an Arkansas opponent since Ole Miss scored just 14 in 1987.
It's Ole Miss that Arkansas will meet Thursday, and Richardson said the Razorbacks had better clean up their act.
``We had five turnovers in the first half (of Saturday's game), but got sloppy in the second half and had 10 turnovers,'' he said. ``A good team can't lose the ball as often as we are.''
Mark Schweigert scored all of his 22 points in the second half to lead Southern Utah (2-7), which has lost its last six games. The Thunderbirds, who had just seven players dressed out for the game because of injuries and illness, lost 72-59 at UNLV on Monday night.
Southern Utah coach Bill Evans said it would have been tough to play Arkansas even with 15 players.
``Arkansas is a better shooting team than I had anticipated,'' Evans said. ``I knew Pat Bradley was good, but Steve Green really surprised me. Arkansas played hard. I have nothing but positives to say about them.''
Hood had six early points, including a 15-footer that put Arkansas ahead 17-4 with 13:30 left in the opening half.
Southern Utah finally broke double figures on Jason Essex's 3-pointer that cut the Razorbacks' deficit to 26-11 with 7:48 left before intermission. But Green came off the bench and made all four of his long-distance shots to put the game out of reach.
The Razorbacks, coming off a 91-88 home loss to Louisville a week earlier, took their largest lead of the game on Glendon Alexander's layup for a 77-32 advantage with 7:52 left.
Tarik Wallace added 11 points for the Razorbacks while Nick Davis, Thompson and Alexander had six rebounds apiece.
Arkansas shot 54 percent from the field while Southern Utah, which shot just 20 percent in the first half, ended up connecting on just 29.7 percent of its attempts.