David Patrick’s Arkansas Men’s Basketball team raced out to a 22-point lead in the first half and held on in the second to defeat Abilene Christian, 85-72, at Bud Walton Arena. Arkansas improve to 8-0 while Abilene Christian drop to 7-2.
Arkansas played without head coach Eric Musselman, who was absent due to COVID-19 close contact tracing protocols. Associate head coach Patrick served as head coach in the win.
Desi Sills scored 16 of his 18 points in the first half to lead the Razorbacks’ hot start. JD Notae scored 17 of his 19 in the second half to help fend off a feisty Abilene Christian squad.
Moses Moody led all scorers with 21 points while Justin Smith pulled down 10 rebounds.
Arkansas expanded their 16-point, halftime lead to 22 with 14:35 left after a pair of Notae free throws. With nine minutes to play, Abilene Christian slowly chipped away and worked its deficit to nine (77-68) with 3:27 remaining. However, Notae answered with 3-pointer at the 3:06 mark and Arkansas maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the game.
Arkansas dominated on the boards. 39-28, and was 24-of-30 (80%) from the free throw line while ACU was just 9-of-15 at the charity stripe. While Arkansas committed 13 turnovers, it was 10 below the season average for an ACU opponent as Abilene Christian entered the game with a +8.6 turnover margin. ACU also entered the game averaging 11 steals per game but only had three versus Arkansas.
Clay Gayman led Abilene Christian with 18 points off the bench, including a pair of 3-pointers to help Abilene Christian get to within nine.