Hannahs scores 23 as Arkansas downs IPFW 92-83 in opener
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) Even with all the new faces on the court, it was old reliable Dusty Hannahs who helped Arkansas when it needed it the most.
Hannahs scored 23 points to lead six players in double figures as the re-tooled Razorbacks (1-0) opened their season with a 92-83 win over IPFW on Friday night.
The senior led Arkansas with an average of 16.5 points per game a year ago, but coach Mike Anderson added a trio of top junior college recruits in a push for immediate improvement following a disappointing 16-16 record last season.
Despite the new-look roster, it was Hannahs who once again took on a leading role when the Razorbacks fell behind by six points to the Mastodons (0-1) in the first half. He finished 7 of 17 from the field and 8 of 10 on free throws.
''That's the way it's supposed to be,'' Anderson said. ''… Those (older) guys have got to show these guys the way.''
Daryl Macon, one of Arkansas' junior college newcomers, added 13 points while Anton Beard had 12. Preseason Southeastern Conference Player of the Year Moses Kingsley finished with nine points, nine rebounds and seven blocks despite being in foul trouble in the first half.
Jaylen Barford, Dustin Thomas and Manuale Watkins finished with 10 points each for the Razorbacks.
John Konchar led IPFW with 17 points, one of five in double figures. Kason Harrell added 14 points, while Mo Evans and Bryson Scott had 13 each and Xzavier Taylor 12 for the Mastodons.
''We came here to win the game,'' IPFW coach Jon Coffman said. ''I'm obviously very disappointed.''
The Mastodons led by as many as six points in the first half, taking a 36-30 lead after a 3-pointer by Evans. The shot lifted IPFW to 6 of 10 on 3-pointers, but they were 0 for 8 from behind the arc after that to end the half.
Arkansas took advantage of the cold-shooting stretch, answering with an 18-4 run to go up 48-40 late in the half. Hannahs had a 3-pointer and Watkins added a basket on the break to cap the run.
''We got kind of stagnant at times, but we just kept playing our game and got the pace back up to our liking,'' Hannahs said. ''I thought we were at our strength, obviously, when we were running and pushing the ball against them.''
Despite earning the season-opening win over the preseason pick to win the Summit League, Arkansas exits the game with continued questions about its rebounding ability and defensive play. A year after finishing 247th in the country by allowing opponents to average 74.7 points per game, the Razorbacks were outrebouned 45-39 – allowing 21 offensive rebounds by IPFW and 21 second-chance points.
JUNIOR COLLEGE IMPACT
Macon and Barford were the top two junior college recruits in the country last season, and they both paid immediate dividends on Friday night. In addition to his 13 points, Macon also had seven rebounds, five assist and four steals, while Barford added five rebounds and four assists.
Kingsley scored seven of his points in the second half, helping the Razorbacks outscore the Mastodons 52-22 in the paint … The senior's seven blocks were one off his career of eight, which came against Tennessee Tech last season … IPFW was scoreless on fast-break points and was outscored 24-0 on the break.
The Mastodons return to action on Sunday when they host Kenyon.
Arkansas remains at home when it hosts Southern Illinois on Monday night.
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