Arkansas debuts razor sharp

Saturday, November 11, 2006
Southeast's Roderick Pearson, right, scrambled for a loose ball with Arkansas' Darian Townes during the second half of Friday's game in Fayetteville, Ark.

Southeast hung around with Arkansas for muchof the first half inEdgar's coaching debut.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- There was no upset in the cards Friday night as Scott Edgar coached his first official basketball game for Southeast Missouri State.

Arkansas, where Edgar spent 1985 through 1991 as an assistant, treated its former employee rudely with a 92-52 thumping in front of 11,952 fans at 19,000-seat Bud Walton Arena.

The tall and athletic Razorbacks, coming off a 22-10 NCAA tournament season, had their way with the short and athletic Redhawks, coming off a 7-20 campaign.

"Arkansas is a very talented basketball team," said Edgar, whose squad won both its exhibition games in preparing for Arkansas. "But I saw a lot of good tonight. We'll learn from this. There's a long way to go."

Southeast, rated as 24-point underdogs, led just twice all night, both times in the opening moments, as Arkansas won its 33rd consecutive home opener.

But the Redhawks at least hung around for most of the first half, trailing just 36-30 in the closing minutes after the second of junior guard Paul Paradoski's back-to-back 3-pointers.

Arkansas then hit Southeast with a 7-0 burst over the final 1:37 of the period to take a 43-30 lead into the intermission.

The Razorbacks scored the first six points of the second half to go up 49-30 and the rout was on. Arkansas outscored Southeast 49-22 in the final period.

"That run to end the first half really hurt us," Paradoski said. "It gave them a lot of momentum. Then they got rolling in the second half."

Paradoski and two transfers -- junior center Mike Rembert and junior forward Brandon Foust -- each scored 12 points to lead Southeast offensively. Paradoski and Rembert each had 10 first-half points.

"I think we came out a little flat after halftime," Rembert said. "And they made big shots. We fought hard. We just came up short."

While Edgar's top concern regarding the Razorbacks offensively was probably their big front line -- they have five players 6-foot-9 or taller -- it was one of Arkansas' shortest players who did the most damage, particularly in the first half.

Edgar, whose preferred defensive style is man-to-man, had Southeast play zone for most of the opening period in an attempt to make the Razorbacks shoot from the outside.

Patrick Beverly, a 6-1 freshman guard who led the state of Illinois in scoring last year at 37 points per game, foiled Edgar's plans. Beverly hit five of six 3-pointers in the first half alone and finished six of seven from beyond the arc. He led all scorers with 29 points, making 11 of 13 shots overall.

"We expected a zone," Beverly said. "I was just hitting shots."

Arkansas was 10-for-17 from 3-point range, where Southeast ended up 6-for-29.

"When Arkansas shoots like that. they're really tough to beat," Edgar said. "They didn't shoot like that in their exhibition games."

Arkansas also did plenty of damage from the inside, shooting 57.1 percent from the field overall (32 of 56), with many of the baskets coming from a few feet away.

Defensively, the Razorbacks' extreme height advantage -- the 6-9 Rembert was Southeast's only player on the floor taller than 6-6 -- made it difficult for the Redhawks to get much of anything going offensively.

Southeast shot 29.3 percent (17 of 58) and had 11 of its attempts blocked, seven by 7-0 junior center Steven Hill, who already ranks third in career blocks at Arkansas.

The Razorbacks held a 42-30 rebounding advantage.

, and Southeast was also hurt by 24 turnovers, although Arkansas had 22 turnovers.

"They're like 15 times our size," Paradoski said. "I've been here three years and I haven't played against a team like that. We're a young team, and I guess it was a little intimidating."

Southeast returns to action Friday, playing Drake in the first round of the Top of the World Classic in Fairbanks, Alaska. The Redhawks will have three games over three days in the eight-team tournament.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: