Qualls claws Arkansas past Clemson

Qualls claws Arkansas past Clemson

Shreveport native Michael Qualls scores 17 points to lead the Hogs past the Tigers

FAYETTEVILLE – With winter conditions outside, the Arkansas
men’s basketball team used some hot three-point shooting inside Bud Walton Arena
on Saturday afternoon to defeat ACC foe Clemson, 74-68, to extend its home win
streak to 19 games.

On the strength of a career-high four three-pointers
by junior Rashad Madden, the Razorbacks knocked down
double figure threes (10) for the second time this season to improve to 6-2 on
the season, while Clemson now stands at 7-2. The Tigers are just the second ACC
team to ever play at Bud Walton Arena, while the 19-game home win streak is tied
for fifth-longest in the nation.

“I want to congratulate our guys for
gutting it out against a very defensive-minded team in Clemson,” said head coach
Mike Anderson. “Defensively, they want to
slow the game down and they attacked the glass on us. It was a good win for us
against a good team. It was a defensive battle and we had enough in the tank to
finish it out.”

Threes were the difference in the game, as Arkansas hit 10-of-21 from beyond
the arc en route to scoring 74 points, the most by any team against Clemson, who
entered as the nation’s top scoring defense (51.0). Sophomore Michael Qualls led three double figure
scorers with 17 points and six rebounds, while Madden was close behind with 14
points. Freshman Bobby Portis reached double-digits for the
fourth consecutive game with 13 points.

Clemson was led by junior K.J.
McDaniels who set career-highs with 27 points and 11 rebounds, including six
offensive. McDaniels was a big part of the Tigers’ 45-30 edge on the glass that
was highlighted by 19 offensive rebounds, but only resulted in 14 second chance

Three-pointers were the theme for the Razorbacks in the first
half, as back-to-back triples from Qualls jumped started a 13-2 run midway
through the period that gave the home team a 23-15 edge with 9:29 to play.
Sophomore Anthlon Bell capped the run with the 50th
three of his career, as the 23 points at that point were more than three of
Clemson’s eight opponents had scored in the entire first half.

bounced right back, responding with a 11-1 run of its own to regain the lead,
26-24, at the 7:06 mark, but it was short-lived as the Razorbacks continued to
stay hot from beyond the arc.

Arkansas' final five field goals of the
half came from three-point land, as Madden and redshirt junior Alandise Harris combined to hit four over the
final 4:50, including one from Harris at the top of the key with four seconds
left, to give Arkansas a 40-32 edge at the half. The 40 points is the most given
up by Clemson in a half this season, while the Razorbacks had scored at least 40
points in 10 of 15 halves through that point.  

The second half started
just the like the first ended, as Madden struck again with back-to-back threes
to push Arkansas’ lead to 46-32 and forced Clemson head coach Brad Brownell to
call timeout just 18:29 into the period.

Arkansas’ lead reached as high
as 16, 54-38, with 14:09 to go, but a late 11-2 Clemson run cut it to a
two-possession game.

Following a steal by Clemson just over midcourt with under three minutes
left, Harris raced back on defense and pinned Damarcus Harrison's layup that
would have cut it to a three-point game. The momentum from Harris’s block led to
much-needed consecutive stops as the Razorbacks made seven of their final 10 at
the free throw line to seal the win.

Harris finished with eight points,
a game-high seven rebounds and two huge blocks. Qualls’ 17 points highlighted a
35-16 advantage for the Arkansas bench, which out-scored its opposition for the
seventh time this season.

Arkansas will continue its four-game homestand
at Bud Walton Arena on Thursday, Dec. 12, when it hosts Savannah State. Tip is
slated for 7 p.m. and will be broadcast by Razorback Sports Network.

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