FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) Moses Kingsley has done his best to avoid any frustration through some early season difficulties finding his way in Arkansas' revamped offense.
The preseason Southeastern Conference Player of the Year might have finally found his way in a 78-62 in over Stephen F. Austin on Thursday night.
Kingsley scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half for the Razorbacks (5-1), who used a 13-3 run to open the second half and pull away from a Lumberjacks team that has been to three straight NCAA Tournaments.
Dusty Hannahs added 15 points, while Anton Beard and Dustin Thomas had nine each for an Arkansas team that's now won two straight games following a loss at Minnesota.
''It only matters that we won, that's all that matters,'' Kingsley said. ''All of that stuff, I feel like it's going to come because I'm working. It's not like I'm sitting on my butt. I'm working, so it's going to happen.''
Kingsley entered Thursday averaging 9.6 points per game – far off a season ago when he had 16 double-doubles and averaged 15.9 points per game.
He struggled once again offensively in the first half against Stephen F. Austin (2-3), scoring two points and attempting only one shot. However, the 6-foot-10 Nigerian made the most of his shots in the second half, connecting on all four of his attempts and putting the Razorbacks up 47-31 with a 3-point play.
''I hope he does it earlier,'' Arkansas coach Mike Anderson said. ''He should have been doing that in the first half. … This is a learning curve for him, especially being in the position where you're a target.''
Ivan Canete led the Lumberjacks with 14 points and Kevon Harris had 11 in the loss, but they had 21 turnovers that led to 29 Arkansas points.
Stephen F. Austin trailed by as many as 14 points in the first half but managed to close the gap to 34-28 at halftime. The Razorbacks then opened the second half quickly and were never threatened the rest of the game.
''I thought we got punched in the mouth to start the second half,'' Stephen F. Austin coach Kyle Keller said. ''That's a typical 40-minutes-of-heck basketball team, and they just kept coming at us.''
Stephen F. Austin: The Lumberjacks entered Thursday with only four active players remaining from last year's NCAA Tournament team, thanks to a broken finger to junior guard Ty Charles. Despite the lack of experience, Stephen F. Austin remained close until its 21 turnovers took their toll late in the second half.
Arkansas: In a stretch of eight of nine games in the state of Arkansas, the Razorbacks did what they had to against an overmatched Southland Conference opponent. Most importantly, with games against Houston and Texas looming in the coming weeks, Arkansas found a way to get Kingsley involved offensively in the second half.
Hannahs was 5 of 9 from the field and made all five of his free throws, but the senior – one of the top shooters in the Southeastern Conference – missed both of his 3-point attempts. The guard has now gone without a made 3-point shot in two straight games, only the second time in his two seasons at Arkansas he's done so.
Stephen F. Austin: Returns home to host Centenary College on Saturday.
Arkansas: Caps a stretch of three games in six days when it hosts Austin Peay on Saturday.
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