Coty Clarke had 20 points in his debut to help Arkansas hold on for a season-opening 73-68 win over Sam Houston State on Friday night.
Clarke, a 6-foot-7 junior-college transfer, was 5 of 9 from the field and 10 of 12 on free throws -- helping the Razorbacks (1-0) overcome a 36-23 rebounding disadvantage.
Marshawn Powell, in his return after missing most of last season with a torn ACL in his right knee, added 14 points for Arkansas. Sophomore Hunter Mickelson also finished in double figures with 11 points.
The Razorbacks played without last season's leading scorer, BJ Young, who was suspended earlier in the week for two games for a violation of team rules.
Darius Gatson led the Bearkats (0-1) with 20 points.