Walsh’s big day plus pressuring defense lifts Hogs past Bradley
Jordan Walsh scores 18 to pace Razorbacks to 76-57 win over Bradley in annual trip to North Little Rock.
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Jordan Walsh scored a career-high 18 points with four steals to lead No. 10 Arkansas to a 76-57 win over Bradley Saturday.
It was the the Razorbacks’ annual trip to North Little Rock and Simmons Bank Arena.
A crowd of 16,675 marked the second-largest attended game for any Hogs’ contest in Central Arkansas, following a crowd of 17,201 against Oklahoma State in Dec. 21, 2001, at North Little Rock.
In addition to Walsh’s career high, the story of the game centered on an Arkansas defense that forced 27 turnovers thanks to 16 Arkansas steals. Davonte Davis tied his career high with five steals, Walsh had four and the trip of Makhi Mitchell, Anthony Black and Ricky Council IV each had two.
Down 7-6 early, Arkansas used a 14-1 run, including an 11-0 sport, to take a lead it would not relinquish. Walsh had back-to-back dunks and a 3-pointer in the run. Then, early in the second half, Arkansas produced a 15-2 run, with seven points from Council, to put the game away.
Council finished with 16 points and Black had 15 with four assists. In addition to Davis’ five steals, he led the team with seven rebounds.
Rienk Mast paced the Braves with 17 points. Malevy Leons and Duke Deen each scored 11 points.
Arkansas returns to Bud Walton Arena on Wednesday (Dec. 21) to host UNC Asheville. Tipoff is set for 8 pm (CT) and the game will be televised on SEC Network.
FIRST HALF: Arkansas 37, Bradley 25
• Arkansas was down 7-6 early before an 11-0 run highlighted by back-to-back dunks by Jordan Walsh. Arkansas did not relinquish the lead and maintained a double-digit lead most of the first half.
• Walsh finished the half with 16 points.
• Bradley’s top first half scorer was Rienk Mast with six points.
• Bradley outrebounded the Razorbacks 16-11.
• Arkansas forced 16 first-half turnovers and had 10 steals, including three each by Walsh and Davonte Davis.
SECOND HALF: Arkansas 39, Bradley 32
• Council scored 11 of his 16 in the second half.
• The Razorbacks shot 52.2 percent from the field while holding the Braves to 34.6% shooting.
• All 11 of Leons’ points for Bradley came in the second half.
• Arkansas was up nine (41-32) with 16:59 left to play before the 15-2 run. The Braves got no closer than 17 points the rest of the way.
• This was the first meeting between Arkansas and Bradley. However, Eric Musselman is 2-0 versus the Braves, winning at Bradley, 91-69.
• Arkansas’ starting lineup was Anthony Black – Nick Smith Jr. – Ricky Council IV – Jordan Walsh – Makhi Mitchell for the fourth consecutive game.
• Arkansas won the tip.
• Bradley’s Duke Deen scored the game’s first points, a layup at 19:30. Makhi Mitchell scored the Razorbacks’ first points on a putback at 18:15.
• Kamani Johnson and Davonte Davis were the first Razorback subs. It was Johnson’s first time to be the first sub.
• Arkansas is 10-1 to start a season for the 23rd time in this its 100th year of basketball. Coach Musselman has started at least 9-1 in all four years at Arkansas, including a 12-1 start in Muss’ first year (2019-20).
• Arkansas has forced 20-plus turnovers four times in 11 games this season. The Razorbacks only accomplished the feat three times last season. Arkansas forced a season-high 30 turnovers versus Fordham with turnovers of 27 versus Bradley, 22 versus Louisville and 20 versus South Dakota State.
• Arkansas scored 37 points off turnovers which are the second-most in the Eric Musselman era.
• Barry Dunning Jr., scored his first points as a Razorbacks with a free throw with 43 seconds left.
• Arkansas was outrebounded for the third time this year but are 2-1 in such games. (Arkansas is 8-0 when outrebounding its opponent.)
• Arkansas improves to 17-10 all-time in North Little Rock and 13-10 in the facility now known as Simmons Bank Arena.
• Ricky Council IV, the SEC’s leading scorer, has scored in double figures in 10 of the 11 games.