Men's College Basketball
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Arkansas (3-0) vs. California (4-0)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Monday, November 25, 3 p.m. (et)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Lahaina Civic Center (2,400) -- Maui, Hawaii. Television: ESPN2. Home Record: Arkansas 3-0, California 4-0. Away Record: Arkansas 0-0, California 0-0. Neutral Record: Arkansas 0-0, California 0-0. Conference Record: Arkansas 0-0, California 0-0. Series Record: Arkansas leads, 1-0.

GAME NOTES: Two teams venturing outside of their homecourts for the first time this season will collide in Hawaii, as the Arkansas Razorbacks and California Golden Bears clash in first-round action of the Maui Invitational.

Mike Montgomery's Golden Bears opened the season with a four-game homestand, topping Coppin State, Denver, Oakland and most recently, Southern Utah (75-47) to arrive at 4-0 entering tournament play.

Mike Anderson's Razorbacks also enjoyed home cooking to start the year, posting three wins in as many games in Fayetteville, including an 89-78 win over SMU last time out.

These two teams have met just once before, also in Hawaii, with Arkansas posting a 74-58 victory in the 1986 Rainbow Classic. The winner of this game will take on either Syracuse or Minnesota in second-round action on Tuesday.

A strong team at both ends of the floor in the early going, Arkansas is enjoying a +19.3 scoring margin, averaging a hefty 88.0 ppg, while allowing just 68.7. Alandise Harris has really given Arkansas a huge lift, coming off the bench with a team-high 18.3. ppg, doing so on .586 shooting overall. Michael Qualls is knocking down his shots with efficiency as well (.533), en route to 16.3 ppg. Anthlon Bell rounds out the team's double-figure scorers at 12.3 ppg, although Bobby Portis (9.3 ppg) is eager to join the group.

The Razorbacks jumped out to a 16-point lead at the half against SMU thanks to 50 percent shooting, but cooled off in the second half (.370) and had to hold on for the 11-point victory. Arkansas really had a problem with the Mustangs down low, where SMU outscored the Razorbacks 42-16 in the paint. However, UA was able to force 18 turnovers, turning those miscues into 20 points. Harris led the way with 21 points, thanks in large part to his perfect 11-of-11 from the free-throw line. Qualls poured in 17 points, while Bell finished with 11.

The Golden Bears shot a modest .426 from the floor, but were still able to cruise past Southern Utah last time out, holding the Thunderbirds to just .293 shooting. California took advantage of its time at the free-throw line, outscoring Southern Utah 22-6 at the charity stripe. Tyrone Wallace led the team offensively with 15 points. Richard Solomon also found his way into double digits with 14 points.

Strong defensive play has been the norm in Berkeley this season, as Cal is yielding a mere 55.2 ppg, while holding foes well under 40 percent shooting from the field (.343). The team is also enjoying a +11.8 rebounding margin. Four of the team's five starters are sporting double-figure scoring averages, led by Jabari Bird's 13.5 ppg. Wallace is next in line at 12.8 ppg. Justin Cobbs adds 11.3 ppg and is the team's top distributor (6.2 apg). Solomon has been a force inside, averaging a double-double with 11.0 points and 12.5 rebounds per game.

Both teams have started fast this season but the difference between the two may just come at the defensive end. California should have the upperhand in that regard, as long as Solomon continues to dominate down low.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: California 74, Arkansas 71

11/25 10:36:27 ET

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