- Associated Press - Friday, November 21, 2014

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) - Just two days removed from a 30-point win over Wake Forest, Arkansas overcame a sluggish start to beat Delaware State 99-71 Friday night.

The Razorbacks (3-0) trailed by one with six minutes remaining in the first half before turning up their defensive pressure and outscoring the Hornets 19-4 to close out the half.

“I thought our guys really picked up the intensity on defense and we saw the game really change with one of those patented runs, where our defense creates offense,” Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson said.

The run was sparked by a Delaware State turnover that led to a layup by Michael Qualls, which gave Arkansas a lead it would not lose.

Arkansas followed with a sequence that included an offensive rebound off a missed free throw, two blocked shots - one by Bobby Portis and one by Jacorey Williams - and two Delaware State turnovers in a two-minute span.

The second half started similar to the first, with Delaware State hanging with the Razorbacks and even cutting the lead from 17 points to nine at the 12-minute mark.

A timeout by Anderson settled the Razorbacks down and the lead quickly ballooned back to 16.

The Razorbacks led by as many as 31 late in the game.

Anderson attributed the slow start to Arkansas’ quick turnaround following the Wake Forest game, but did acknowledge the affect Delaware State’s game plan affected his team in the first half.

“They were going to slow the tempo down,” Anderson said. “They were going to spread the floor and I thought it worked, but it didn’t frustrate our guys.”

Qualls led Arkansas with 20 points and three other Razorbacks also reached double figures. Williams contributed a career-high 14 points, while Portis and Anthlon Bell each had 14 points as well.

Usually known for being on the receiving end of highlight-reel alley-oop dunks, Qualls had a pass that led to one by Williams in the first half. He also had

“(Qualls) did some things other than just score,” Anderson said. “He’s just showing other components of his game. Now he’s making the assist leading to other guys scoring.”

Ky Madden didn’t score until the second half, but he distributed the ball well, notching a career-high eight assists.

“Ky did a good job of taking command of the team with assists and calming people down out on the floor,” Anderson said. “It’s good to see him sharing the wealth with the team.

Tyshawn Bell led Delaware State (2-2) with 19 points, while DeAndre Haywood and Kendall Gray had 15 and 10 points, respectively.

TIP-INS

Delaware State: The Hornets turned the ball over 24 times, nearly twice their average coming into the game. The turnovers led to 33 points for the Razorbacks.

Arkansas: Despite Watkins scoring only six points in 19 minutes, the Razorbacks outscored Delaware State by 21 with him on the court. His plus-21 was the second best for the game, behind Madden’s plus-22 in 28 minutes.

UP NEXT

Delaware State’s six-game road trip continues Wednesday at Iona.

Arkansas travels to Dallas on Tuesday to play a struggling SMU team. The Mustangs were No. 22 in the preseason poll, but have lost their last two games.


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