Razorbacks top MVSU
FAYETTEVILLE — Five Razorbacks reached double digits, as the Arkansas women’s basketball team (13-0) reached the century mark and closed out non-conference play with a 100-54 win over Mississippi Valley State (1-9) inside Bud Walton Arena on Saturday.
Arkansas reached triple-digit scoring for the first time since the 2009-10 season, which occurred almost exactly to the day four years ago on Dec. 29 against Sam Houston State in 2009. With the win, the Razorbacks also finished off an undefeated non-conference schedule for the third time in the Tom Collen era.
Jhasmin Bowen led all scorers with 18 points, while Jessica Jackson had 15 points, Keira Peak had 12 points, McKenzie Adams contributed 11 points and Ana Faussurier added a career-high 10 points. Calli Berna tied her career-best with 13 assists in the win.
Arkansas prepares next to open up SEC play by welcoming South Carolina to Bud Walton Arena on Jan. 2. Opening tip is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Grizzlies rout Nuggets
MEMPHIS — Zach Randolph had 20 points, six rebounds and five assists as the Memphis Grizzlies routed the Denver Nuggets 120-99 on Saturday night.
Ed Davis netted 17 points, while Jerryd Bayless added 15 points for the Grizzlies, who had dropped six of their last eight games heading into the tilt.
Mike Conley tallied 14 points, six rebounds and four assists, while James Johnson registered 14 points, seven rebounds and six helpers in the triumph.
Ty Lawson had 20 points and eight assists for Denver, which has lost six straight, and Wilson Chandler added 19.
The Grizzlies trailed 56-55 at the break, but a 12-2 run to start the second half helped them seize control of the contest. Conley netted six points during the surge, which was capped on two Randolph free throws for a 67-58 Memphis margin with 7:58 left in the third.
Memphis, which outscored Denver 30-16 in the third, took an 85-72 spread into the final frame, where the Grizzlies led by as many as 26 before cruising to the easy win.
Denver led 29-27 after a quarter of play.
UNC takes down Cincinnati
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Freshman Ryan Switzer tied the NCAA single-season record with his fifth punt return for a touchdown, and the North Carolina Tar Heels posted a 39-17 victory over the Cincinnati Bearcats in the Belk Bowl.
Switzer matched the mark Chad Owens set with Hawaii in 2004 with an electrifying 86-yard run in the third quarter, one of two special teams touchdowns by North Carolina.
Romar Morris had two rushing touchdowns for the Tar Heels (7-6), who had lost their three previous appearances in this Charlotte-based bowl game when it was formerly known as the Continental Tire Bowl (2004) and the Meineke Car Care Bowl (2008-09).
Marquise Williams was 19-of-33 for 171 yards with one touchdown pass and added 46 yards on the ground.
Brendon Kay finished with 181 yards and one interception on 15-of-35 passing for Cincinnati (9-4).
Louisville grounds Miami
ORLANDO — In what was likely his final game at Louisville, junior quarterback Teddy Bridgewater put an exclamation point on a stellar collegiate career with the Cardinals.
Bridgewater threw for a career-high 447 yards and three touchdowns while also rushing for a score, and the Louisville defense stifled Miami-Florida en route to a 36-9 triumph in the Russell Athletic Bowl on Saturday.
Billed by most as the top quarterback prospect for the 2014 NFL Draft, Bridgewater completed 35-of-45 passes and became Louisville’s all-time leader for TD tosses in a single season with his 31st scoring strike of the year.
Bridgewater was named the game’s MVP, marking the second straight year he’s taken home MVP honors in a bowl game after last year’s 33-23 win over Florida in the Sugar Bowl.
Louisville (12-1) held the Hurricanes to just 174 total yards, including a minuscule 14 on the ground, and an 0-for-11 mark on third down, as the Cardinals secured their second 12-win season in school history and first since 2006.