UA, Bama 2 of 6 in logjam for third

By: Bob Holt
Published: Saturday, February 24, 2018
Arkansas guard Daryl Macon (4) pressures Alabama guard Dazon Ingram (12) Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, during the second half of play in Bud Walton Arena.
Photo by Andy Shupe
Arkansas guard Daryl Macon (4) pressures Alabama guard Dazon Ingram (12) Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, during the second half of play in Bud Walton Arena.

FAYETTEVILLE -- The Arkansas Razorbacks aren't alone in third place in the SEC basketball standings going into today's game against Alabama in Coleman Coliseum.

The Razorbacks have plenty of company, including the Crimson Tide.

Alabama and the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville are part of a six-way tie for third in the SEC at 8-7 along with Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi State and Missouri.

All of the third-place teams have been eliminated from the SEC championship race with three regular-season games to play.

Only Auburn (12-3) or Tennessee (10-5) can win the conference title, but Arkansas is among the teams competing to finish third or fourth, which means a double-bye in the SEC Tournament.

Depending on the outcome of today's games, the Razorbacks could be anywhere between a two-way tie for third or alone in seventh.

"We've got a lot of people right in the mix when we talk about seedings and all that stuff," Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson said. "That's where the separation is going to come here."

Every SEC team has at least five conference victories.

"We're beating each other up in league play, whether it be at home or on the road," Anderson said. "It doesn't surprise me to see it all jammed up.

"With a week and a half to go, the blanks will start being filled out as we move forward. But with us and Alabama, that's the most important game right now."

The Razorbacks (19-9) are trying to bounce back from an 87-72 loss to Kentucky at home. Arkansas led 65-61 with less than 13 minutes to play before the Wildcats pulled away. Kentucky led 65-63 with 10:54 left.

"For 30 minutes we were right there," Anderson said. "Then, of course, we kind of ran out of gas.

"Our concern is, let's put 40 minutes together. I think that's the biggest thing. Let's clean up on the details. We scored, but now let's stop people. Let's rebound the basketball, and then get our bench to playing much, much better."

Kentucky outscored Arkansas 38-6 in bench points.

"I didn't think our bench played as good as they're capable of playing," Anderson said. "So we need to see if we can get those guys to come in and bring what they bring to the table."

Anderson was asked if he's worried about an emotional letdown today at Alabama after losing to Kentucky and the Razorbacks blowing an 11-0 lead.

"I think we did it in the game," Anderson said of letting down. "We did it in the second half. We spent all the emotion up in the first half."

After Arkansas outrebounded Texas A&M 45-42, Kentucky outrebounded the Razorbacks 46-29.

Arkansas senior forward Dustin Thomas had 10 rebounds against Kentucky. Starting guards Jaylen Barford, Anton Beard and Daryl Macon combined for four rebounds for the Razorbacks in 94 minutes. Arkansas freshman forward Darious Hall, who last week had 11 rebounds at Ole Miss and seven against Texas A&M, had one rebound in 17 minutes in the Kentucky game.

Anderson said he was shocked Arkansas wasn't more competitive on the boards against the Wildcats.

"I know Kentucky's long and athletic, but that's when you've got to make that adjustment and put bodies on people, and we didn't do that," Anderson said. "That's the approach we've got to take on the road. The mental toughness, the physicality that takes place this time of the year.

"The officials, for the most part, they're letting you play. So there's going to be some pushing and shoving and you've got to be able to push back or hold your ground.

"That's something we've got to do a lot better job of, whether it be at home or on the road."

Sports on 02/24/2018

Arkansas men at Alabama

WHEN 5 p.m. today

WHERE Coleman Coliseum, Tuscaloosa, Ala.

RECORDS Arkansas 19-9, 8-7 SEC; Alabama 17-11, 8-7

SERIES Arkansas leads series 32-28

RADIO Razorback Sports Network

TELEVISION SEC Network

PROBABLE STARTING LINEUPS

ALABAMA

POS. NAME, HT, YR PPG RPG

G Collin Sexton, 6-3, Fr. 18.4 3.6

G John Petty, 6-5. Fr. 10.6 2.4

G Dazon Ingram, 6-5, So. 9.9 5.7

F Donta Hall, 6-19, Jr. 11.4 7.0

C David Giddens, 6-11, So. 4.4 2.6

COACH Avery Johnson (54-41 in three seasons at Alabama)

ARKANSAS

POS. NAME, HT, YR PPG RPG

G Jaylen Barford, 6-3, Sr. 18.4 3.8

G Daryl Macon, 6-3, Sr. 17.4 2.8

G Anton Beard, 6-0, Sr. 9.6 2.5

F Daniel Gafford, 6-11, Fr. 11.6 6.1

F Dustin Thomas, 6-8, Sr. 5.0 4.4

COACH Mike Anderson (147-83 in seven seasons at Arkansas, 347-181 overall in 16 seasons)

TEAM COMPARISON

Alabama Arkansas

73.4 Points for 82.4

69.4 Points against 75.6

+0.1 Rebound margin -1.2

-0.6 Turnover margin +3.1

46.9 FG pct. 48.1

32.7 3-PT pct. 39.8

67.5 FT pct. 66.7

CHALK TALK Arkansas has won three in a row over Alabama, including 62-61 at Coleman Coliseum in 2016 on the Razorbacks’ last visit to Tuscaloosa, Ala. … Arkansas hasn’t won back-to-back games at Alabama since taking three in a over from 1995-97 …. The Razorbacks and Crimson Tide are among six teams tied for third in the SEC at 8-6 … Alabama is 12-3 in home games this season, including victories over current No. 12 Auburn, 18 Rhode Island and No. 19 Tennessee. The Tide’s home losses have been to Texas in Birmingham, Ala., and to Central Florida and Missouri in Coleman Coliseum … Arkansas senior guard Daryl Macon has scored 20 or more points in 9 of the last 10 games … The Razorbacks have 99 dunks, including 55 by 6-11 freshman Daniel Gafford. Sophomore forward Adrio Bailey is second on the team with 18 dunks … Arkansas has won 36 consecutive games in which they led at halftime … Alabama has lost its last two games, 81-71 at Kentucky and 90-71 at Auburn.

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