FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Behind a career-high 23 points from sophomore Rickey Scott, the University of Arkansas men's basketball team defeated Charlotte, 80-67, Wednesday night at Bud Walton Arena. Arkansas improves to 9-3 with the win, while Charlotte drops to 7-4.
After a previous career-high of 18 points in his last game, Dec. 22 against Louisiana Tech, Scott scored his 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting from the field and added six rebounds and five assists to lead an Arkansas offense that had 20 assists on 26 made field goals in the game.
"I'm proud of our guys coming off of Christmas break," Anderson said. "It is good to see guys bring practice to the game. This is not the same team you saw earlier in the year."
Down 5-3 early on, Scott knocked down a jump shot to trigger a 14-0 Arkansas run that put the Razorbacks ahead 17-5 just over six minutes into the game. Sophomore Mardracus Wade hit two three-pointers during the run and was 3-for-3 from behind the arc in the opening seven minutes, helping Arkansas build a lead it would not relinquish.
"We are starting to see more runs take place," Anderson said. "To me, that is Razorback basketball."
Along with Scott and Wade, forward Michael Sanchez was a key to the 40-27 halftime margin built by the Razorbacks. The senior had seven points, six rebounds and two steals in the opening half alone, energizing the squad on both ends of the floor.
Much of Arkansas' scoring, though, came from Scott. Over the final 2:57 of the first half and opening 2:04 of the second, Scott outscored Charlotte 14-4. He had eight points in a 10-0 run to start the second half that put Arkansas up 50-29 and put the 49ers nearly out of reach.
Arkansas led by as many as 23 points when freshman Rashad Madden scored a layup on a nice pass from Scott to make it 68-45 with 5:52 to play in the game. Charlotte cut the Razorback lead to 11 with a run late in the game, but the 49ers were never within single digits in the second half.
"I thought our defense was the biggest difference," Anderson said. "We did a good job on the boards. The more our guards rebound the better off we are as a team."
Arkansas held Charlotte to 34.9 percent shooting for the game, and out-rebounded the 49ers 48-40. The Razorbacks forced 17 turnovers and scored 17 points off of turnovers.
Wade had 14 points and was 4-of-7 from behind the arc, tying a career high for three-pointers made. He also added four rebounds and four assists. Sanchez finished with seven points, eight rebounds and four steals. Senior Marvell Waithe added seven points, six rebounds and two blocks.
Freshman Hunter Mickelson had eight points and seven rebounds, and his four blocked shots helped defend a solid Charlotte front line. Mickelson is one of just three freshmen in the nation to have blocked a shot in every game of his career.
Charlotte had four players score 11 points, and DeMario Mayfield led the 49ers with 10 rebounds.Arkansas has just one day off before returning to action Friday, Dec. 30, with a home game against Texas Southern at 7 p.m. inside Bud Walton Arena.