Fortson guides Razorbacks with triple-double effort
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Courtney Fortson recorded the second triple-double in program history as the Arkansas men’s basketball team defeated North Carolina Central, 98-70, Wednesday night at Bud Walton Arena. The freshman point guard totaled 20 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds to join Alvin Robertson as just the second Razorback to register a triple-double. Robertson had 23 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in 1984 against Texas.Fortson led a group of five Razorbacks with double figures against the Eagles. Michael Washington recorded his third double-double performance of the season with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Rotnei Clarke and Michael Sanchez added 15 and 14 points, respectively, in the win. Jason Henry rounded out the quintet with 12 points.The victory is Arkansas’ 38th consecutive non-conference home win.Arkansas shot a season-high 52.9 percent from the floor, connecting on 37 of its 70 shots. The Hogs also put in 18 of their 23 free-throw attempts, good for a season-best 78.3 percent clip from the charity stripe.
The Hogs used full-court pressure and an attacking defense to force 25 NCCU turnovers. Arkansas scored 37 points on its opponent’s miscues. The home team also registered eight steals on the night.
Arkansas used its size advantage to out-rebound the Eagles, 50-27, and hold a 54-18 lead in points in the paint. Along with double-digit rebound totals by Fortson and Washington, Sanchez grabbed eight rebounds, his fourth game of the season with at least eight boards. Arkansas also posted a 29-9 advantage in second-chance points.
Despite a season-high point total, the Razorbacks’ offense was hindered by 26 turnovers and a 30 percent success rate from the three-point line.
The Razorbacks scored 12 unanswered points early in the first half to take a 15-4 lead four and a half minutes into the game. After building a 14-point advantage, Arkansas saw its lead cut to 26-17 at the 10:05 mark of the first half. It was the last time NCCU would get within single digits of the Hogs.
A lay-up by Washington with a minute to play in the first half gave the home team its first 20-point lead. Arkansas went into halftime with a 53-33 lead.
The Razorbacks return to action Dec. 17 to take on Austin Peay at Bud Walton Arena with tip-off scheduled for 7:05 p.m. The contest will be part of day one action of the Jim Thorpe Classic. Visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com for more details.