ROME, Italy – Sophomore BJ Young scored 22 points and junior Coty Clarke netted 17 with eight rebounds to lead the Arkansas men’s basketball team to 93-73 victory over All-Star Italy on Friday night.
The Arkansas win allows the Razorbacks to go undefeated in their four-game schedule overseas with an average margin of victory of 22.3 points.
“Overall it was good tour,” Arkansas coach Mike Anderson said. “We came in tonight without touching a ball or practicing for two days and played well. We had a chance to bond as a team and play a lot of different combinations. Most importantly, no one got hurt.”
While Young and Clarke led the way offensively, it was the Arkansas defense that dominated the second quarter of action Friday. A three-point Arkansas lead at the end of the first 10 minutes of play ballooned to 15 by the half as the Razorbacks held All Star Italy to just six points over the second 10 minutes. Arkansas forced 31 All-Star Italy turnovers in the game.
Young was again efficient, shooting 9-of-12 for his 22 points. He also had five assists and five steals with six rebounds.
Clarke was a little better shooting the ball for the Razorbacks as he hit all eight of his shots and grabbed a team high eight rebounds. The junior college transfer nearly averaged a double-double in four games with 14.3 points and 8.3 rebounds. He also sank 73.5 percent of his shots.
The Razorbacks executed Mike Anderson’s “Fastest 40 Minutes in Basketball” style to perfection in the second quarter on Friday night and gave All Star Italy fits on both ends of the floor with deflected passes and steals. The Hogs led by as many as 30 in the fourth quarter before easing up on the pressure.
Junior Mardracus Wade finished with six of the team’s 23 steals, giving him a team-high 16 in four games. Wade also scored 11 points for his fourth double-figure scoring effort of the tour. Wade was joined by junior Marshawn Powell in double digits. Powell had 10 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 2blocks and 2 steals in 12 minutes.
The Razorbacks shot 58.8 percent and hit 8-of-12 free throws. Arkansas also dished 25 assists.
Four Razorbacks averaged double figures in scoring during the four-game trip. Wade led the way at 15.8 points a game. He was followed by Young (15.0), Coty Clarke (14.3) and Michael Qualls (11.7). Of the 14 players who made the trip to Italy, 12 averaged better than 12 minutes per game with no one above 22.
The Razorbacks finish their sightseeing on Saturday with a stop at Vatican City before boarding a plane back to the United States on Sunday.
— Arkansas Media Relations report