Fayetteville, AR (SportsNetwork.com) - The 25th-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks will try to continue their dominance over the North Texas Mean Green when the two teams meet up for a non-conference tilt inside Bud Walton Arena on Friday night.
Arkansas has dominated the head-to-head series, winning all 13 prior meetings with North Texas.
This time around, the Razorbacks find themselves in the national rankings for the first time since November of 2007 and are coming off Tuesday night's 78-72 win at SMU. The last time Arkansas started a season 4-0 was 2006. The Razorbacks will try to extend their 17-game home winning streak against non- conference foes.
This marks the road opener for North Texas. The Mean Green went 4-1 on their season-opening, five-game homestand and will now play three straight on the road. They posted a 67-52 victory over Mississippi Valley State on Wednesday.
Muhammed Ahmed led the way with a season-best 15 points off the bench to go along with a game-high nine rebounds in that win over MVSU. But despite the final score, it was far from a complete game for the Mean Green, who shot just 46.4 percent from the floor and committed 20 turnovers. They also missed 10- of-20 free throws. Colin Voss was the team's only other player in double figures, finishing with 10 points and eight boards as North Texas had a 49-35 rebounding advantage for the game. Jordan Williams is the lone player averaging double figures on the season with 13.6 ppg, albeit on 37.9 percent shooting from the floor. He scored seven points in 34 minutes of action on Wednesday night.
The Razorbacks never trailed against a tough SMU squad earlier this week. Defense was the key early on as Arkansas forced 16 first-half turnovers to grab an 11-point lead at the break. SMU made only one of its first nine attempts from the floor and had seven turnovers in that span as the Razorbacks jumped out to a 13-4 lead and never looked back. Sophomore Bobby Portis went on to score a game-high 22 points, followed by Michael Qualls with 13, and Rashad Madden with 10.
Offensively, Arkansas leads the SEC in scoring (89.2), field goal percentage (.508), three-point percentage (.521) and assists (21.3). The Razorbacks also lead the conference in steals (11.5 spg) and turnover margin (+8.3). Portis is averaging a team-best 17.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, and he is shooting 58.7 percent from the floor.