The University of Arkansas men’s basketball team took care of business in its opening game of the 2011-12 season, but it is time to go to work for the Razorbacks as Oakland University, a NCAA tournament team a year ago, is set to play at 7 p.m. tonight at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville.
Arkansas jumped out to an early lead against USC Upstate as it hit 10 of its first 11 shots. That run allowed the Razorbacks to ride the emotions of the opening game crowd to a 20-point victory headlined by junior Marshawn Powell’s 19 points in 19 minutes on the court. Sophomore Rickey Scott was also instrumental in the win as he scored a career high 11 points and grabbed a career best seven rebounds.
As a team, the Razorbacks shot better than 50 percent which more than made up for its tough night holding onto the ball. Arkansas gave up the ball 23 times in the opener which prompted Head Coach Mike Anderson to make it a point of emphasis in practice.
Oakland opened its season on Monday night against No. 16 Alabama and fell in their season opener, 74-57. Reggie Hamilton led the Grizzlies with 16 points and Drew Hamilton and Laval Lucas-Perry added 11 and 10, respectively, but a -12 rebounding margin and just 40 percent shooting from the field was too much to overcome. Oakland picked up a majority of its scoring from its starters, 43 points, but those same players also hit just 43 percent from the floor. Oakland did cause some turnovers as they were able to pick up eight steals.
Season and regular season non-conference tickets for Razorback basketball games are on sale at the Razorback Ticket Center by calling 1-800-982-HOGS or by going on-line at ArkansasRazorbacks.com. Season ticket packages are $500 and include admission to all 20 regular season games at Bud Walton Arena. Single-game tickets sell for $25.
The Arkansas-Oakland game will be broadcast on the radio across the Razorback Sports Network from IMG College with Chuck Barrett and Rick Schaeffer giving the call. It will also be streamed on the internet live at ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
Following the contest with Oakland, Arkansas travels to North Little Rock to play the Houston Cougars at 7 p.m. on Friday at Verizon Arena.