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Arkansas 79, Missouri State 75

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) -- Missouri State's shooting prowess from
beyond the 3-point arc caught Arkansas coach Stan Heath's
attention. He didn't want his Razorbacks to get beat that way, so
he did a little tweaking on defense earlier this week.

It apparently was effective, as Missouri State hit only 2-of-11
shots from the perimeter in the first half and finished with just a
24 percent rate from long distance as the Razorbacks (7-2) took
control late in a 79-75 victory.

The Bears (6-1), who made 60 percent of their long-distance
shots in their last game against Detroit Mercy, had hit 50 percent
from long range this season before their visit to Arkansas' court.

"We knew that they were a proven team," Heath said. "They're
a tough team to play, but I thought we did a heck of a job
defending their 3-pointers. I though we had a great effort on the
defensive end."

Ronnie Brewer, who helped the Razorbacks stave off a Missouri
State rally in the second half, finished with a 19 points. Brewer
also passed the 1,000-point mark for his career when he hit a
3-pointer with 15:44 left in the game to give the Razorbacks a
7-point lead. He's the 29th Razorback to reach the 1,000-point
plateau.

Missouri State coach Barry Hinson said the turning point in the
game "was when Ronnie hit the big shot" to regain the lead for
Arkansas, 67-66, with less than 4 minutes left.

"He made the biggest shot of the game," Hinson said.

Brewer said he and his teammates were prepared for a hard game.

"I just want to have the opportunity to make the big shot down
the stretch and tonight I did and I made it," he said.

Hinson said Arkansas' athleticism and height made it tough for
his Bears.

"This shut down our perimeter shooting because we aren't used
to playing against players that are 6-foot-7," the Missouri State
coach said.

Missouri State controlled much of the first half until Arkansas
went on a 12-2 run to give it a 13-point halftime lead, 44-31.

Missouri State put together a 9-1 run at the start of the second
half and regained the lead briefly, 62-61, with 7:04 left.

Steven Hill tipped in a layup to get the lead back in Arkansas'
hands, and Eric Ferguson hit a jumper from 16 feet to make it
65-62. The Bears regained the lead at the 4-minute mark, 66-65, but
Brewer blunted the threat with a driving layup that gave Arkansas
the lead for good.

Charles Thomas added 17 points for Arkansas.

Blake Ahearn's 16 points and Tyler Chaney's 14 points topped the
Bears' scoring.

Arkansas and Missouri State both scored more than half their
points underneath the basket -- 40 points in the paint by Arkansas
and 46 by the Bears.