Mark Dondero

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Turnovers Doom MSU in Arkansas

Marshawn Powell scored 17 points as Arkansas continued its home dominance with a 96-70 win over Mississippi State on Wednesday night.

The Razorbacks (12-6, 3-2 Southeastern) improved to 12-1 at home this season, with their lone loss coming to No. 3 Syracuse. Arkansas has yet to win away from home.

Powell had 13 points in the first half for the Razorbacks, who only trailed after the game’s first basket and forced a season-worst 29 turnovers by the Bulldogs — leading to 42 points. Leading scorer BJ Young, who came off the bench for the first time this season, added 13 points for Arkansas, while Coty Clarke added 13.

Fred Thomas led Mississippi State (7-10, 2-3) with 17 points, while Gavin Ware added 11 and Craig Sword 10.

The 2-3 start in the SEC is the worst since 2007 for the short-handed Bulldogs, who dressed only seven scholarship players.

Mississippi State’s previous worst in turnovers this season was 22 against Marquette, a number it topped midway through the second half as Arkansas turned a nine-point game at halftime into a rout. Sword had nine turnovers for the Bulldogs, more than the Razorbacks’ team total of eight, and Thomas added six.

The Razorbacks forced 28 turnovers earlier this season in a win over Longwood, but they topped that number late in Wednesday night’s win.

They did so in style — with a variety of breakaways and dunks in the second half. Clarke scored all 13 of his points in the second half for Arkansas, while freshman guard Anthlon Bell hit all three of his 3-pointers in the second half and finished with 9 points.

Thirteen players scored for the Razorbacks, who also had 27 assists and 11 blocks.

Arkansas led by as many as 14 points in the first half, aided by 21 points off 13 Mississippi State turnovers.

It was Young, who didn’t enter the game until the 14:47 mark of the first half, who provided the Razorbacks’ offensive spark late in the half. The sophomore, after a 6 of 17 shooting performance on Saturday in a loss at Ole Miss, scored all 9 of his first-half points after the Bulldogs had closed to within 23-21.

Young scored seven straight points during one stretch as Arkansas went on a 12-2 run to push its lead to 42-28. Mardracus Wade followed Young’s scoring run with a 3-pointer, and Michael Qualls finished the run in style — flying in from the right baseline for a thundering tomahawk dunk.

Powell scored his 17 points in just 19 minutes of action, resting during the second half as Arkansas extended its lead to as many as 30 points.

The Razorbacks, next to last in the SEC in rebounding margin, outrebounded Mississippi State 22-17 in the first half.

Read more: Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal – Powell s 17 leads Arkansas past Miss St 96 70