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story.lead_photo.caption Arkansas’ Desi Sills (left) dives after a loose ball in front of Mississippi Valley State’s Terry Collins during Wednesday night’s game. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/David Gottschalk)

FAYETTEVILLE -- At halftime of the University of Arkansas basketball team's season opener against Mississippi Valley State, the Razorbacks were shooting a higher percentage on three-pointers than on shots inside the arc.

And the Razorbacks were shooting 50% of their shots that weren't three-pointers.

Arkansas cruised to a 142-62 victory over the Delta Devils on Wednesday night in Walton Arena with a dominating first half in which they hit 12 of 19 three-pointers (63.2%) to take a 61-30 lead.

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The Razorbacks shot 56.4% (22 of 39) in the half, including 10 of 20 on attempts inside the arc.

Connor Vanover, a 7-3 sophomore from Little Rock who redshirted last season after transferring to California, led Arkansas with 23 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocked shots in 17 minutes off the bench. He hit 8 of 11 shots and 4 of 5 three-pointers.

Vance Jackson, a 6-9 graduate senior transfer from New Mexico, scored 15 points for the Razorbacks. He hit 5 of 9 shots and 4 of 6 three-pointers.

Arkansas guard Desi Sills, a junior from Jonesboro, also scored 15 points. Freshman Khalen Robinson, from Little Rock, also scored 15 points.

Justin Smith, a senior graduate transfer forward from Indiana, added 13 points for the Razorbacks.

Arkansas freshman guard Moses Moody, from Little Rock, scored 12 points. Point guard Jalen Tate, a graduate transfer from Northern Kentucky, also scored 12 points.

Junior guard JD Notae, who redshirted last season after transferring from Jacksonville (Fla.) University, had seven points.

Arkansas put together a 28-0 run over a 6:11 span that pushed their lead from 13-8 to 41-8 with 6:11 left in the first half.

The Razorbacks hit 8 three-pointers in that stretch, including 4 by Jackson and 2 by Vanover. Robinson and Sills also hit three-pointers.

Vanover started the run with a rebound basket.

Mississippi Valley State went on a span of 7:25 without scoring -- and missed 15 consecutive shots -- before Alexander Perry made a layup to cut Arkansas' lead to 41-10.

Arkansas won its 46th consecutive home opener, including its 28th in Walton Arena.

The last time the Razorbacks lost their first home game was against Western Kentucky 102-100 on Dec. 3, 1973.

Razorbacks Coach Eric Musselman is 6-0 in season and home openers, including 2-0 at Arkansas and 4-0 at Nevada.

The Delta Devils did get to enjoy having the lead -- 3-2 after a three-pointer by Kam'ron Cunningham 20 seconds into the game -- before Smith dunked to put Arkansas ahead to stay at 4-3 with 17:26 left in the half.

Mississippi Valley State came into the game ranked last nationally among NCAA Division I teams by -- a college basketball analytics website -- at No. 357 after the Delta Devils were 3-27 last season.

Arkansas' starting lineup included Jackson, Sills, Smith, Moody and Tate

Arkansas plays defending Conference USA champion North Texas at 5 p.m. Saturday in Walton Arena. The teams also met in the second game last season when the Razorbacks beat the Mean Green 66-43.

North Texas opens the season tonight against Mississippi Valley State in Denton, Texas.

Game sketch

RECORDS Arkansas 1-0; Mississippi Valley State 0-1

STARS Arkansas sophomore center Connor Vanover (23 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocked shots), senior forward Vance Jackson (15 points, 7 rebounds) and junior guard Desi Sills (15 points, 3 steals).

KEY STAT The Razorbacks hit 20 of 40 three-pointers.

UP NEXT Arkansas plays North Texas at 5 p.m Saturday at Walton Arena in Fayetteville.

Arkansas’ Moses Moody (right) steals the ball from Mississippi Valley State’s Caleb Hunter during  the Razorbacks’ season-opening victory Wednesday night at Walton Arena in Fayetteville. 
(NWA Democrat-Gazette/David Gottschalk)
Arkansas’ Moses Moody (right) steals the ball from Mississippi Valley State’s Caleb Hunter during the Razorbacks’ season-opening victory Wednesday night at Walton Arena in Fayetteville. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/David Gottschalk)

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