Fayetteville, Ark. – The Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde persona the University of Arkansas men’s basketball team has taken on at home and on the road continued on Saturday as the Hogs took down Tennessee 73-60 in Bud Walton Arena.
The Razorbacks were led by sophomore guard B.J. Young’s 25 points off the bench. Young came off the bench for the second straight game after turning in a few too many poor performances lately for head coach Mike Anderson. Young responded well on Saturday.
Young was quick with the ball making his way to the basket for “easy” layups. He finished the contest shooting 9 of 15 from the field hitting 2 of 3 from downtown.
Freshman small forward Michael Qualls (Shreveport, LA) got his first start as a Razorback against the Vols and turned in a career-high 12 rebounds for the honor. He added seven points on 3 of 6 shooting from the field.
Perhaps the biggest highlight of the game was a dunk Qualls slammed home after grabbing a missed Arkansas free throw attempt and quickly hammering down a two-handed slam with authority.
Hunter Mickelson turned in another solid game for the Razorbacks scoring 10 points on 5 of 8 shooting with five rebounds, and four steals.
Foul trouble for Hogs forward Marshawn Powell limited the big man to 12 points on 5 of 10 shooting. Surprisingly Powell only nabbed one rebound during the game.
Tennessee out rebounded the Hogs 38-28 but Arkansas’ pressure defense was the difference in the first half building up a 35-25 halftime lead. The Hogs’ defense forced 21 turnovers and tallied 13 steals against the Vols.
The Vols relied primarily on seven players getting a team-high 18 points and team-high 10 rebounds from sophomore forward Jarnell Stokes. Senior forward Kenny Hall chipped in 14 points in the loss.
The Hogs did not shoot well from beyond the arc but that did not stop them from trying to shoot their way out of a seemingly season long slump. Arkansas hoisted 15 three-point attempts connecting on four. Tennessee did not fair any better hitting 2 of 10.
The game was not without some heavy Arkansas sports celebrities in the audience. During a timeout newly hired football head coach Bret Bielema addressed the crowd and former men’s basketball coach Nolan Richardson was honored by the school during the game.
Arkansas improved to 13-8, 4-4, on the season and Tennessee dropped to 11-9, 3-4.
The Hogs host No. 4 Florida on Tuesday, Feb. 5, at 6 p.m. CT. Tennessee returns home to face Georgia on Wednesday, Feb. 6, at 7 p.m. CT.