FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) -- Arkansas had a feeling it could take
advantage of Ole Miss' smaller guards, so midway through the first
half, the Razorbacks switched to a zone.
"It's a zone that has some man-to-man principles," Razorbacks
assistant Ronny Thompson said. "Their (height and reach), their
athleticism we thought gave Ole Miss some trouble. Sometimes in a
game, you hunt, you hunt, you hunt and you find something that
Jonathon Modica scored 20 points and Brewer added 19 to lead
Arkansas to a 71-58 win Wednesday night. The Razorbacks trailed
19-17 before outscoring the Rebels 19-2 over the final 9:25 of the
The key was the zone. Brewer and Jefferson disrupted Ole Miss on
the perimeter, especially 6-foot-1 Todd Abernethy and 5-foot-11
Brian Smith. When the Rebels tried to go inside, Steven Hill and
Darian Townes were waiting.
"They got the momentum and we got on our heels," Abernethy
Modica, Hill and Charles Thomas scored 4 points each during a
16-0 run that put Arkansas ahead 33-19. Dwayne Curtis finally made
a layup for the Rebels with 2:39 to play, but Arkansas led 36-21 at
Ole Miss committed 13 of its 17 turnovers in the first half.
Hill and Townes each had two blocks before the break.
"The zone was very effective for us in this game," Arkansas
coach Stan Heath said. "It was the first time we used it for that
length of time, but we just felt like they weren't in a rhythm
against it, so we stuck with it."
Arkansas (14-5, 3-3 Southeastern Conference) shot 62 percent
from the field in the second half, and the lead never dropped below
Reserve Clarence Sanders scored 12 points to lead the Rebels
(13-5, 3-2), who have lost two straight after a seven-game winning
streak. Curtis, who entered Wednesday's contest averaging 14.8
points per game, was held to 10. He also had 10 rebounds.
Hill finished with five blocks for Arkansas, and Townes had
"Arkansas played well on defense," Ole Miss coach Rod Barnes
said. "It wasn't one person who stopped us. Their zone was very
Townes scored 13 points for Arkansas, and Brewer had seven
rebounds. Jefferson had nine assists for the Razorbacks.
Ole Miss' opponents had shot only 31 percent from 3-point range
entering the game, and Arkansas finished 2-of-10 after missing all
seven of its first-half attempts. The Rebels were a bit better,
finishing 6-of-19 from 3-point range after going 1-for-8 in the
Arkansas' three SEC losses were by a total of 10 points, while
their wins were by 12, 16 and 13.
Ole Miss hosts LSU on Saturday. Arkansas' next game is at
Kentucky on national television Sunday. The Razorbacks have lost
five straight to the Wildcats.
"I'm ready for it," Brewer said. "It's a big stage on Sunday
on CBS. We've struggled with Kentucky while I've been here, and
we're going to go there and try to change that."