Razorbacks play catchup, but unable to overcome
CANCUN, Mexico -- In Labor Day weekend exhibition games, Belize Teane hung on to defeat Arkansas 73-69 Saturday morning, but the Razorbacks easily won their evening contest against La Salle 108-56.
Arkansas fell behind by 10 points early but fought back to tie the Belize game several times.
The team was hampered by a poor shooting effort -- 38 percent from the field, 27 of 71, and 45 percent at the free-throw line -- and players slipping on a slick floor in an un-air conditioned gym. Still, the Razorbacks grabbed 24 offensive rebounds, had 17 assists and nine turnovers.
"We had a bad start and they made a little run at the beginning of the fourth quarter, but we finished strong," coach Stan Heath said. "We played hard. We rebounded well, we had more assists than turnovers and we made a lot of extra passes."
Arkansas trailed 23-13 early and 42-38 at the half.
With three minutes to play, the Razorbacks trailed 66-55 following a three by Lester Hood.
Billy Pharis hit consecutive threes to get Arkansas within 70-66 with 30 seconds remaining, and Eric Ferguson's three cut the gap to 71-69.
But Belize Teane's Greg Foster hit his first free throw and got the rebound of his second shot. He was fouled and made another free throw to end the scoring.
Pharis led the Razorbacks with 14 points and had 10 rebounds in the first game. Freshman Olu Famutimi had 11 points, and sophomore Jonathon Modica had 10.
Arkansas played La Salle, a Mexican university, rather than Cahuameros de Quintana Roo, later Saturday, and won 108-56.
In that game, the Razorbacks were 40 of 80 from the floor and 19 of 24 at the free-throw line. Kendrick Davis had 21 points, and Charles Tatum added 15, all threes. Vincent Hunter had 13 points and 13 rebounds.
Ronnie Brewer had 10 points, five rebounds and three assists.
Arkansas is playing in small gyms using FIBA rules. The different rules include a trapezoid lane, a longer 3-point line and a shorter shot clock.
Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press