Razorbacks beat Gophers at Maui Invitational

Published 2:38am Wednesday, November 27, 2013

LAHAINA, Hawaii — Arkansas might leave the Maui Invitational with a strong showing after all, even if it’s out of the running for the tournament’s title.

Alandise Harris scored 15 points and Arkansas had 52 second-half points to beat Minnesota 87-73 on Tuesday, setting the Razorbacks up for a fifth-place game on Wednesday.

Arkansas coach Mike Anderson said he was glad his team quickly shook off a Monday loss to California.

“Short-term memory, that’s what we talked about,” Anderson said.

Arkansas started the second half on a 10-0 run, with Anthlon Bell and Fred Gulley hitting consecutive 3-pointers to give the Razorbacks a 45-40 lead.

Arkansas (4-1) then pulled away even further, pushing for transition shots, dunks and keeping its full court pressure defense on the rest of the game.

Coty Clarke made two key plays during Arkansas’ decisive run; two plays after a dunk, he turned a Bell steal into an alley-oop dunk for Michael Qualls.

“I put a challenge in front of them and they responded,” Anderson said. He added that he was especially happy with his team’s 32 bench points.

“We are starting to understand what we need to do,” he said.

Austin Hollins led Minnesota (5-2) with 17 points. The Golden Gophers led 40-35 at halftime. Malik Smith had 13 first-half points but finished with 15.

“Arkansas beat us at our own game. They were tougher, they were scrappier,” Minnesota coach Richard Pitino said.

Minnesota had a nine-minute stretch in the second half where a dunk was its only field goal to go along with eight free throws. Arkansas scored 26 points over the same span.

Bobby Portis had 12 points, Rashad Madden had 11, while Gulley and Qualls had 10 points each. Qualls added eight rebounds and three assists.

Andre Hollins and DeAndre Mathieu scored 11 points each for Minnesota.

Arkansas shot nearly 61 percent in the second half and nearly 55 percent for the game. The Razorbacks hit 47 percent of their 3-point attempts.

Minnesota will play the loser of No. 11 Gonzaga and Division II Chaminade, the host of the yearly tournament. The Golden Gophers lost to No. 8 Syracuse on Monday.