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NCAAB: Balanced scoring leads No. 13 Arkansas past Kansas State

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Five players scored in double figures Monday night as No. 13 Arkansas established an 18-point halftime lead and then held off Kansas State 72-64 in the Hall of Fame Classic semifinals in Kansas City, Mo.

Connor Vanover and Chris Lykes each paced the Razorbacks (4-0) with 14 points, combining to go 18 of 19 from the foul line.

Au’Diese Toney added 13 points and nine rebounds. Teammate JD Notae scored 11 but made only 4 of 17 shots from the field, and Stanley Umude chipped in 10 points.

Selton Miguel and Nijel Pack each scored 14 points for the Wildcats (2-1). Pack connected on a 3-pointer with about 58 seconds left in the game to draw them to 66-60, the closest they had been since the game’s first three minutes.

But Lykes sank six straight free throws down the stretch to keep Kansas State at bay, sending Arkansas to the championship game Tuesday night against fellow unbeaten Cincinnati, which walloped No. 14 Illinois 71-51 in the first semifinal.

The Wildcats will meet Illinois for third place on Tuesday night in a game that will match the former and current employers of Kansas State coach Bruce Weber.

Arkansas jumped on Kansas State hard to start the game. Notae drilled a 3-pointer about three minutes in to give the Razorbacks a 10-2 lead. Arkansas was able to dictate pace against an opponent that wanted to make it a 5-on-5 game.

The margin reached 15 for the first time when Notae hit another 3-pointer with about 8 1/2 minutes left, making the score 26-11. Vanover sank two foul shots at the 2:36 mark to up the advantage to 39-21.

The half ended in fitting fashion with Vanover grabbing an offensive rebound, drawing a foul and sinking two more free throws with 38 seconds on the clock. That gave the Razorbacks a comfortable 42-24 lead at intermission.

Arkansas shot just 36.2 percent from the field, but hit 79.4 percent from the line (27 of 34). The Wildcats made only 37.3 percent of their shots from the field.

–Field Level Media

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