Scores

Final

Hartford 55

(2-5, 0-1 Am. East)

Arkansas 87

(10-1, 9-1 home)

    8:05 PM ET, December 23, 2004

    Bud Walton Arena, Fayetteville, Arkansas

    1 2 T
    HART 18 3755
    ARK 45 4287

    Top Performers

    Hartford: A. Cook 9 Pts, 4 Reb, 4 Ast, 4 Stl

    Arkansas: R. Brewer 23 Pts, 5 Reb, 4 Ast, 4 Stl, 2 Blk

    Arkansas 87, Hartford 55

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP)-- Arkansas coach Stan Heath counseled his Razorbacks to avoid a letdown before taking their holiday break.

    They apparently heeded the warning. Ronnie Brewer tied a career high with 23 points Thursday night as Arkansas coasted to an 87-55 victory over Hartford and set a school record for most wins before Christmas.

    The Razorbacks (10-1) had the range against the Hawks (2-5), hitting 58 percent of their field goal attempts. Arkansas also got 26 points off 20 turnovers and limited the Hawks to 35 percent shooting.

    No Hartford player scored more than nine points. Arkansas led by as many as 41 points -- nearly tripling Hartford's point total at 62-21 -- and at one point in the second half, Brewer alone had outscored Hartford 22-21.

    "I felt our first half performance was excellent, but we let down in the second half," Heath said. "These games are hard before Christmas."

    The Razorbacks pressured the Hawks early and often and opened up a 45-18 lead at halftime.

    Arkansas relied on strong perimeter shooting for many points at the outset, eventually connecting on 13-of-20 three-point attempts overall. Four of the Razorbacks' first six baskets were made from behind the arc as Arkansas jumped out to a 16-10 lead.

    Hartford, meanwhile, had trouble setting up its halfcourt offense. Playing man-to-man defense while occasionally flashing a zone press during the first half, the Razorbacks forced the Hawks to commit 14 turnovers and held them to 32 percent shooting from the field.

    Midway through the first half, Eric Ferguson made a steal near mid-court and then tightroped the sideline before scoring on a lay-up. Moments later, Brewer stole the ball from Aaron Cook, drove to the basket and soared for a one-handed dunk to give the Razorbacks a 25-14 advantage with 8:00 left in the half.

    Jonathon Modica came off the bench to contribute 17 points, matching Ferguson's output, and Ferguson also grabbed 7 rebounds. Darian Townes added 11 points for Arkansas.

    "It was a great team effort and we played extremely well," Heath said. "I thought Ronnie and Eric played outstanding. They were hitting the open shots and Modica did very well in the paint."

    Cook led the Hawks with 9 points.

    With Rashard Sullivan and Steven Hill closing down the paint and preventing Hartford's guards from feeding their post players, the Hawks suffered a long scoring drought, making only 2 points over more than 8 minutes before Trevor Goode dunked the ball with 16 seconds left in the half.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    HART
    ARK
    Points 55 87
    FG Made-Attempted 18-52 (.346) 30-52 (.577)
    3P Made-Attempted 5-19 (.263) 13-20 (.650)
    FT Made-Attempted 14-21 (.667) 14-22 (.636)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (0/0) 18 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 0 41

    2004-05 Season

    DATEGAMELINKS
    » Dec 23, 2004 @ARK 87, HART 55Recap