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