Arkansas 97, A&M-Commerce 80
Location: Bud Walton Arena • Fayette, Ark.
Up Next: at Southern Arkansas • Thursday, Nov. 17 • 7 p.m.
FAYETTE, Ark. -- A&M-Commerce put together a solid showing at Southeastern Conference foe Arkansas, giving the Razorbacks a tough challenge in a 97-80 exhibition defeat at Bud Walton Arena.
Lone Star Conference Preseason Player of the Year Desmond King had an impressive season debut, posting a double-double with 24 points and 19 rebounds on the night for the Lions. King shot 11-of-16 from the floor and had 10 offensive boards in 31 minutes for A&M-Commerce.
Three other Lions finished with double-digit point totals as Brad Hambrick posted 14 points to complement his four rebounds and three assists while Devondrick Walker added 11 points in his A&M-Commerce debut with LaBree Sledge finishing with 10 for the Lions.
A&M-Commerce raced out to an early lead on the Razorbacks, as a pair three-pointers from Hamrick and another from Sledge gave the Lions an 11-4 lead right out of the gate. A&M-Commerce and Arkansas would battle for the majority of the half before a 14-6 Razorback run over the final five and a half minutes gave Arkansas the 45-35 at halftime.
The Lions continued to battle in the second half, rimming the Razorback lead to four at 78-74 off a three from Hambrick with 5:44 remaining in the game. But similar to the first half, Arkansas proved to be too much down the stretch, outscoring A&M-Commerce 19-6 over the final five and a half minutes to close out the 97-80 victory.
A&M-Commerce shot 43.1 percent from the floor and shot 30.3 percent from beyond the three-point arc, coompared to 52.5 percent from the floor for Arkansas, who also hit eight of 16 three-pointers (50.0 percent).
Mardracus Wade led the Razorbacks with 20 points on the evening while Rashad Madden finished with 18 points. Hunter Mickelson and Rickey Scott each added 13 points for Arkansas with Julysses Nobles posting nine points and nine rebounds.
The Lions will now have a couple of weeks to fine-tune what they learned in Fayette as they prepare for the regular season opener on Thursday, November 17 at Southern Arkansas. A&M-Commerce plays its first four games on the road before its home opener against Lone Star Conference opponent Midwestern State on Wednesday, November 30.