FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas didn’t look like a team trying to replace its two leading scorers during its Red-White game Sunday.
Both teams shot better than 50 percent from the field as the White team pulled away for a 112-102 win in front of an estimated 3,500 fans at Bud Walton Arena.
A combined 10 players scored in double figures and five cracked the 20-point mark, led by Alandise Harris’ game-high 26 points for the Red team. Jacorey Williams had a team-high 21 points for the winning White team as the Razorbacks showcased some offensive firepower heading into a season minus departed leading scorers BJ Young and Marshawn Powell.
“It was a high-scoring affair,” coach Mike Anderson said. “And obviously that tells you that we do have a chance to have some guys that can put the ball in the hole. The biggest question mark as we move past the Red-White game is will we be able to stop somebody? That’s going to be the biggest key. But I like it because we got more options. That can be a balance on this basketball team.”
The White team, comprised of out-of-state players, knocked down three of its 10 3-pointers to stretch a 51-41 halftime lead to a 73-53 advantage in the first six minutes of the second half. The Red team made a few runs, but never got closer than six the remainder of the game.
Williams had plenty of help in the scoring department.
Sophomore Michael Qualls had 20 points, including several high-flying dunks, while fellow sophomore Anthlon Bell hit five of his first six 3-point attempts and finished with 19 points.
Mardracus Wade also scored 19. Coty Clarke had 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Rickey Scott chipped in 12 to round out the White team’s six players who scored in double figures in the win.
“It’s just going to be points across the board,” Bell said. “I don’t think we have just one predominant scorer. The way we share the ball and the way we play, everybody’s going to get touches.”
The White team went 10 of 26 (38.5 percent) from 3-point range, using guard play and perimeter shooting to best the much-larger Red team, which won the rebounding battle 41-26.
Harris had an efficient effort in the losing cause, hitting 9 of 14 shots and 7 of 9 from the free-throw line. He also added a team-high nine rebounds.
“To see him come out and almost contribute a double-double, he’s doing a lot of blue-collar work,” Anderson said. “Defensively, I think he’s got to get a whole lot better for our basketball team. But he has a knack for getting to the free throw line.”
Most importantly for Harris, he will get to suit up for the exhibition opener Friday. Last year, the Red-White game was his only action of the season while sitting out after transferring from Houston.
“He’s like another weapon,” Williams said. “We got the scoring, rebounding and physicality, obviously. And then, with him being an older guy, we’ve got leadership as well.”
Heralded freshman forward Bobby Portis finished with 18 points and five rebounds for the Red team. The McDonald’s All-American Little Rock native looked smooth and in control, hitting 8 of 14 shots.
“He’s an outstanding player,” Williams said. “Obviously, you see the rebounding we missing. Him and Moses (Kingsley) both. And we’ve got Alandise rebounding. They bring size and rebounding. Bobby’s a skilled forward. … I feel like he’s going to help us a lot.”
Perhaps the surprise of the scrimmage was the scoring output from Red team guards Ky Madden and Fred Gulley. Both finished with 24 points, with Gulley hitting five 3-pointers and scoring 18 of his points after halftime in an impressive effort a year after knocking down just five 3-pointers and averaging 1.5 points a game last year.
Of course, the defense was shaky as the teams combined to shoot 56 percent from the field. Both teams shot better than 62 percent in a second half that featured a combined 122 points.
“We were just trying to have a little fun,” Williams said. “But coach is on our head constantly about defense. He preaches that. So we’re going to play defense.”
Arkansas will host Missouri Southern at 7 p.m. Friday in the exhibition opener.