Notae’s 23 points put No. 12 Arkansas over Charlotte 86-66

NCAA

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP)J.D. Notae recorded his first career double-double and No. 12 Arkansas rolled to a 86-66 win against Charlotte on Tuesday night in nonconference action.

Notae finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds as the Razorbacks (9-0) took control of the game in the first half and never let up. Arkansas sophomore Jaylin Williams scored a career-high 15 points and added eight rebounds for Arkansas. Four players scored in double-figures for the Razorbacks.

Austin Butler led Charlotte (4-4) with 14 points and Jahmir Young finished with 10.

Charlotte trailed by double-digits most of the second half until Butler and Luka Vasic drilled back-to-back 3-pointers to pull the Niners within 73-64 with 5:50 left. After an Arkansas timeout, the Razorbacks closed the game on a 13-2 run.

”I thought we were really good late in the game,” Arkansas coach Eric Musselman said. ”You’re going to go through stretches where the other team outplays you during the course of the game. It doesn’t happen very often where you outplay somebody for 40 straight minutes.”

Notae scored 13 of his points in the second half as the Razorbacks extended a 10-point halftime lead to 20 down the stretch to end a four-game homestand.

Notae said the focus in practice has been to get Williams more touches early in possessions. On Tuesday, Williams scored 10 of his 15 points in the first half.

”In practice we’ve been hitting him, so he’s been getting his touch right,” Notae said. ”So tonight, he just showed it, finishing at the rim.”

A close game early, it turned Arkansas’ way midway through the first half. The Razorbacks broke away from a 14-14 tie at 11:52 with a 17-4 scoring burst.

Charlotte made a run to get within six points at 35-29 on a backdoor layup by Jackson Threadgill with 2:25 left in the half, but Arkansas went back up by 10 again when Williams forced a steal at midcourt and raced in uncontested for a slam for the 41-31 halftime lead.

LOCKING DOWN YOUNG

Musselman said his team focused on limiting Charlotte’s leading scorer, Jahmir Young, and the defensive focus worked. Young finished with 10 points, well below his 19 points per game average. Musselman praised the defensive play of Davis and Lykes who guarded Young most of the night.

”We talked about not only his ability to score the ball, but also his assists,” he said. ”Devo was assigned to Young, and the other four guys were supposed to shrink the floor a little bit against him. We did not want him to make any threes, which would then open up his dribble-drive.”

BETTER BOARDS

Arkansas outrebounded Charlotte 41-21 and pulled down 15 offensive rebounds. For Notae, that was a huge jump from the one rebound he had against Arkansas-Little Rock last week.

”The coaches told us that this team doesn’t get many offensive rebounds,” he said. ”So that was the game plan, to get on the defensive backboards. And a couple of them just fell into my hands.”

TIP-INS

Arkansas shot just 3 of 13 from the 3-point line, but overall shot 58% from the floor. Williams was 7 of 9 and Davis, who scored 18 points was 7 of 12. . Charlotte was held to 43% from the floor, including 4 of14 from 3.

UP NEXT

Charlotte: At Valparaiso on Saturday.

Arkansas: Takes on Oklahoma on Saturday in Tulsa.

More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/College-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

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