ROME, Italy (UA) - Sophomore BJ Young scored 22 points and junior Coty Clarke netted 17 with eight rebounds to lead the University of Arkansas men's basketball team to 93-73 victory over All-Star Italy in the Razorbacks final game of their Italian tour, Friday night in Rome.
The Arkansas win allows the Razorbacks to go undefeated in their four-game schedule overseas with an average margin of victory of 22.3 points.
"Overall it was good tour," Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson said. "We came in tonight without touching a ball or practicing for two days and played well. We had a chance to bond as a team and play a lot of different combinations. Most importantly, no one got hurt."
While Young and Clarke led the way offensively, it was the Arkansas defense that dominated the second quarter of action. A three-point Arkansas lead at the end of the first 10 minutes of play ballooned to 15 by the half as the Razorbacks held All Star Italy to just six points over the second 10 minutes of action. Arkansas forced 31 All-Star Italy turnovers in the game while also outrebounding its foe by eight.
Young was again efficient for Arkansas, shooting 9-of-12 for his 22 points, hitting both his three-point attempts and both free throws. Getting it done on both ends of the floor, Young also had five assists and five steals with six rebounds. In four games, Young averaged 15.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, 13 assists and 11 steals while shooting 72 percent from the field.
Clarke was a little better shooting the ball for the Razorbacks as he hit all eight of his shots and grabbed a team high eight rebounds. The junior college transfer nearly averaged a double-double in four games with 14.3 points and 8.3 rebounds. He also sank 73.5 percent of his shots.
The Razorbacks executed Mike Anderson's "Fastest 40 Minutes in Basketball" style to perfection in the second quarter on Friday night and gave All Star Italy fits on both ends of the floor with deflected passes and steals. The Hogs led by as many as 30 in the fourth quarter before easing up on the pressure, allowing the home squad to sink easy baskets late.
Junior Mardracus Wade was Arkansas' thief on the night with six steals of the team's 23, giving him a team high 16 for the four games. Wade also dropped in 11 points for his fourth double-figure scoring effort of the tour. Wade was joined by junior Marshawn Powell in double digits as he had 10 with four rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals despite playing a majority of his 12 minutes in foul trouble.
As a team, the Razorbacks shot 58.8 percent for the game and hit 8-of-12 free throws. Arkansas also dished 25 assists on 40 made baskets (.625).
In the four Arkansas games in Italy, four Razorbacks averaged in double figures. Wade led the way at 15.8 points per game followed by Young (15.0), Coty Clarke (14.3) and Michael Qualls (11.7). Clarke led all rebounders at 8.3 rebounds per game. Young was also Arkansas' leader in assists with 13 followed closely by Rashad Madden with 12. Hunter Mickelson led the team with seven blocked shots and Wade and Young each had double figure steals with 16 and 11, respectively. Of the 14 players who made the trip to Italy, 12 averaged better than 12 minutes per game with no one above 22.
The Razorbacks finish their sightseeing on Saturday with a stop at Vatican City before boarding a plane back to the United States on Sunday.
For more information regarding Razorback men's basketball or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.