DALLAS (AP) -- From a freshman banking on a halftime
buzzer-beater from beyond halfcourt to a late steal that turned
into a momentum-shifting dunk, the Arkansas Razorbacks sure looked
right at home in their return to Dallas.
The Razorbacks (9-2) won their seventh straight and upped their
winning streak in Dallas to 19 in a row -- even if it has been 11
years since they visited the city.
"I'd love to come back," said coach Stan Heath.
While American Airlines Center didn't turn into "Barnhill
South," like Reunion Arena used to during the old Southwest
Conference tournament, the Hog calls certainly were heard from the
crowd of 14,280.
"There were a lot of Arkansas fans here and it showed," said
Brewer, who scored a season-low 12 points. "It really helped us
out. It was almost like playing a home game."
Technically, it was a home game for Tech (6-6) as it tried to
cater to its largest alumni base for a third straight year. The Red
Raiders fell to 1-2 in this holiday season showcase.
Jay Jackson scored 19 points and Darryl Dora had 12, but the Red
Raiders lost their second straight game and fourth in their last
"We had way too many turnovers," Tech coach Bob Knight said.
"It was a huge difference in the game."
Arkansas scored the game's first eight points and led by as many
as 11 in the first half. Tech rode a scoring burst by Jackson to go
ahead by two, but the Razorbacks regained the lead on about a
55-foot bank shot by freshman Sean McCurdy at the end of the first
half. They never trailed again.
"I thought it was the key play of the game," Jefferson said.
Tech had a chance to get within three with about 4:30 left when
Jackson drove for a layup. But Eric Ferguson stripped the ball,
then threw a perfect alley-oop pass to Jefferson for a
momentum-shifting dunk that put Arkansas ahead 65-58. After a
timeout by the Red Raiders, Jefferson scored again and the
Razorbacks' lead was secure.
"The mark of a good team is if you bend a little but don't
break. That's what Arkansas did," Knight said. "We have a
tendency to get ourselves in a bind. We get nine, 10 or 11 points
behind, then we have to dig our way out of it."
McCurdy played only the final 16 seconds of the first half.
Modica led Arkansas with seven rebounds and Ferguson scored 13
Brewer was held well below his average of 20.1 points, but
contributed five steals and two blocks. He shot 4-of-11 from the
field after going 5-of-14 against Rice on Saturday.
"They took Ronnie out of the game," Heath said. "They made it
tough for him to catch the ball. It's a good strategy, but if the
other guys are playing the way they're supposed to, we're going to
be pretty effective."