Arkansas newcomer Khalif Battle netted a game-high 21 points and added four rebounds off the bench to lead the No. 14 Razorbacks to an 86-68 win over Gardner-Webb on Friday night in Fayetteville, Ark.
A transfer from Temple, the 6-foot-5 Battle made 5 of 9 from the field, including three of his four 3-pointers, and went 8-for-10 at the foul line.
Tramon Mark poured in 14 points while El Ellis had 13 points and six rebounds. Trevon Brazile produced 10 points, seven rebounds and five blocked shots. Makhi Mitchell had five boards and four blocks for the Razorbacks (2-0).
The Razorbacks’ benched outscored its Gardner-Webb counterpart 40-19. Arkansas also blocked 15 shots while the Runnin’ Bulldogs blocked none.
Arkansas moved to 3-0 against Gardner-Webb and is 142-41 all-time in November, with coach Eric Musselman victorious in 23 of 24 contests in the month.
Musselman recorded his 97th win at Arkansas.
Caleb Robinson produced 18 points and seven boards and Julien Suomaoro had 15 points for Gardner-Webb (1-1). Cheickna Sissoko totaled 10 points and six rebounds.
Less than four minutes into the matchup, the visitors raced out to a 13-5 lead as Robinson scored six points in a fast-paced start, but Arkansas fought back and took its first lead on Mark’s layup at 11:30.
That was part of a 12-2 run that slowed down Gardner-Webb, which made 14 treys in its season-opening, 40-point win Monday over Division II Erskine.
Despite the early deficit, Arkansas trotted to the locker room with a 48-36 advantage behind 13 points from Battle and seven apiece from Mark and Ellis.
The Razorbacks shot 51.6 percent (16-for-31) in the half while the Runnin’ Bulldogs clicked at 37.1 percent (13-for-35) and got 10 points from Robinson.
In the second half, Arkansas broke free and created separation, winning on the defensive end and making eight straight field goals for a 69-46 lead with just over 12 minutes left to take control of the game for good.
–Field Level Media
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