El Ellis scored 17 points and dished out eight assists Monday night as No. 14 Arkansas held off Old Dominion for an 86-77 non-conference win in Fayetteville, Ark.
Davonte Davis added 16 points for the Razorbacks (3-0), while Makhi Mitchell contributed a 15-point, 10-rebound double-double. Khalif Battle came off the bench to tally 13 points and Trevon Brazile chipped in 11.
Chaunce Jenkins scored a game-high 21 points for the Monarchs (1-2), which also got 18 from Devin Ceaser and 14 points from R.J. Blakney. Old Dominion connected on 11 of 24 3-pointers and tallied 21 fast-break points to stay in the game for 40 minutes.
But Arkansas was just a little bit better, committing only four turnovers and carving out an 18-5 advantage in points off turnovers. It also outscored the Monarchs 18-4 at the foul line, taking 29 free throws to the visitors’ five.
Old Dominion pulled within 49-46 at the 14:31 mark on Bryce Baker’s 3-pointer. The Razorbacks matched their biggest lead at 79-65 when Battle made two foul shots with 5:06 left but the Monarchs crawled within six twice in the last four minutes.
The early storyline was Arkansas’ defense. It stifled Old Dominion early, permitting just five points in the first 6 ½ minutes and giving the offense wiggle room while it struggled with the Monarchs’ defense. It was just 15-9 at the second TV timeout, more than 9 ½ minutes into the game.
The Razorbacks found a bit of rhythm after that and opened up a 25-11 lead at the 6:46 mark of the half when Mitchell made a free throw. After that, Old Dominion worked its way back into contention as it was finally able to make shots.
An 11-4 run drew the Monarchs within 29-22 when Jenkins drilled a 3-pointer with 3:53 remaining and they took momentum into the locker room when Jenkins set up Blakney for a 3-pointer at the horn that cut their deficit to 37-31.
–Field Level Media
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