Anthlon Bell scored 18 of his career-high 28 points in the first half as the host Razorbacks led most of the way in holding off the Sycamores in the first round of the NIT.

Bell was 7-of-9 from the field, including 4-of-6 from 3-point range, in the first half for third-seeded Arkansas (22-11), which trailed only 1-0. Alandise Harris scored 13 off the bench, Rashad Madden and Michael Qualls added 11 and Coty Clarke and Bobby Portis each scored 10 for the Razorbacks.

Manny Arop led Indiana State (23-11) with 12 points, while Jake Odum had 11 points and six assists. Dawon Cummings added 11 points, eight rebounds and four steals for the sixth-seeded Sycamores, while Khristian Smith added 10 off the bench.

After Odum gave the Sycamores their only lead in the opening minute, Bell scored the next 10 points for Arkansas. Indiana State fought back to tie the game with 2:18 to play in the half, but Qualls scored six points in a closing 8-2 run that gave the Razorbacks a 37-31 halftime advantage.

The second half was much of the same as Arkansas went up by 18 less than six minutes in. The Sycamores made a late run to cut the lead to eight with just over six minutes to play, but a 20-3 run over the next 4:24 put the game away for the Razorbacks.

GAME NOTEBOOK: The Razorbacks dominated the boards 46-32 behind a game-high 13 from Portis. … Bell shot 11-of-13 from the field, including 6-of-8 from 3-point range, while the rest of the Razorbacks were 21-of-52 and 2-of-9. … Arkansas will face California or Utah Valley in the second round.