FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) Moses Kingsley takes a great deal of pride in how he can affect the Arkansas offense with his play on the defensive end.
The 6-foot-10 junior put together arguably his best all-around performance for the Razorbacks (5-4) in an 83-57 win over Tennessee Tech on Saturday night, finishing with 10 points and career highs in rebounds (13) and blocks (8).
The near triple-double marks the ninth time in as many games this season that Kingsley has scored in double figures, but it was his work on the defensive end that helped hold the Golden Eagles (7-3) to 33.9 percent (20 of 59) shooting.
Kingsley’s eight blocks topped his previous best of five, and his 13 rebounds were more than the 12 the he had earlier this season in a loss to Stanford. The first-year starter, stepping in for Southeastern Conference Player of the Year Bobby Portis, now had five double-doubles this season.
”That was fun, because when we get a rebound we’re gone, and that’s part of our offense,” Kingsley said. ”That’s how we have fun, and that’s good for us.”
Anthlon Bell and Dusty Hannahs scored 21 points each to lead Arkansas, which won back-to-back games for the first time this season. The Razorbacks are now over .500 for the first time since a win over Charleston Southern on Nov. 20.
Torrance Rowe led the Golden Eagles, who had their six-game winning streak snapped, with 17 points. Aleksa Jugovic added 12 points and Anthony Morse 10 for Tennessee Tech, which hit only 8 of 29 shots (27.6 percent) in the first half and never recovered.
Much of the Golden Eagles shooting woes were due to the presence of Kingsley, who helped Arkansas get a season-high 13 blocked shots.
”That wasn’t much fun,” Tennessee Tech coach Steve Payne said. ”You would think somebody in purple would realize not to dribble in there at the 6-10 athletic guy and throw it in his nose every time and pass the ball, maybe.”
Arkansas led by 19 points at halftime and didn’t let up in the second half, with Bell scoring 14 of his points after the break. The senior finished 7 of 13 from the field and 4 of 7 on 3-point attempts, raising his season total to a Southeastern Conference-best 29 made 3-pointers through nine games.
Hannahs added to the long-range run with three 3-pointers, bringing his total to 26 from behind the arc for the season, and Trey Thompson added 10 points off the bench in the win.
Arkansas led 40-21 at halftime, driven by a 17-0 run that gave the Razorbacks their largest lead of the half – a 38-17 advantage that came after Hannahs’ first 3-pointer of the game.
Hannahs had 11 points in the first half, helping Arkansas to a 19-2 edge in bench points, but it was Trey Thompson who provided the highlights. The sophomore, also coming off the bench, was 4 of 4 from the field in the first half and had a pair of alley-oop dunks off assists by Jabril Durham during the Razorbacks late run.
The dunks were two of the three Arkansas had for the game off assists by Durham, who entered the game fourth in the country with an average of 7.8 assists per game and finished with 10 for the game.
”I like where our team is going,” Arkansas coach Mike Anderson said. ”They’re trending in the right direction.”
Tennessee Tech: The Golden Eagles were off to their best start since going 7-2 to open the 2005-06 season. Rowe was 4 of 7 on 3-pointers, but Tennessee Tech was 7 of 24 (29.2 percent) overall from behind the arc.
Arkansas: Hannahs entered the game leading the Southeastern Conference in free throw shooting, having made 35 of 36 attempts (97.2 percent) for the season. The junior, however, missed a pair in the second half but is still a solid 39 of 42 (92.9 percent) for the season.
Led by Hannahs and Thompson, Arkansas’ bench outscored Tennessee Tech 38-7. The Razorbacks have now outscored their last two opponents 78-9 off the bench.
Tennessee Tech is at Tennessee-Chattanooga on Tuesday.
Arkansas plays Mercer in North Little Rock, Ark., on Dec. 19.