McKenzie, McDermott help Providence upset ArkansasNov 17, 2007 - 5:42 AM SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (Ticker) -- Reserve Brian McKenzie scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half as Providence upset No. 18 Arkansas, 67-51, in the semifinals of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off on Friday.
Geoff McDermott scored 15 points and Weyinmi Efejuku added 11 - including nine in the second half - for the Friars (2-0), who will face Miami in the championship game on Sunday.
The Hurricanes defeated Virginia Commonwealth, 69-63, earlier Friday.
"This is huge for us," Providence forward Jonathan Kale said. "It shows us we can play at a high level."
Providence was helped tremendously by Arkansas' 32 turnovers.
"This was one of most unenjoyable games I have ever had as a coach," Arkansas coach John Pelphrey said. "The consistency level was not there. It takes all the fun out of the game if you don't have a respect for handling the basketball."
The Razorbacks, who had 26 miscues in their win over the College of Charleston on Thursday, watched as starters Sonny Weems, Gary Ervin and Charles Thomas threw away the ball six times apiece.
Pelphrey, who received a technical foul for arguing with officials, said his team would be doing double-session practices on Saturday to prepare for their consolation match against Virginia Commonwealth on Sunday.
"We will be getting after it like there's no tomorrow," Pelphrey said.
A 6-4 sophomore, McKenzie connected on 7-of-13 shots from the floor, including 6-of-9 in the second half to increase the Friars' four-point halftime lead. After scoring the first five points after intermission, McKenzie's 3-pointer with 14:11 left gave Providence its first double-digit lead at 43-31.
"We came here to get better, and we have improved," Providence coach Tim Welsh said. "And we need to practice to keep getting better."
McDermott, who also had eight rebounds, was almost equally as effective, scoring in eight points in the first half, including four during an 8-0 spurt that broke a 19-19 tie - pushing the Friars to a 28-19 advantage.
Patrick Beverley scored 14 points and Darian Townes had 11 and seven boards for the Razorbacks (2-1), who actually outshot the Friars - 43 percent (18-of-42) to 38 percent (21-of-55) - but were done in by their miscues.
- PUERTO RICO TIP-OFF
AT SAN JUAN
NCAA BB PUERTO RICO TIP-OFF
FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
ARKANSAS (18) 28 23 51
PROVIDENCE 32 35 67 FINAL
Nov 16 7:36 PM
- PUERTO RICO TIP-OFF
AT SAN JUAN
NCAA BB (18) ARKANSAS 28
PROVIDENCE 32 HALFTIME
Nov 16 6:34 PM
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