In the Lane:

Hogs have something in reserve

By: Tom Murphy
Published: Sunday, February 25, 2018
Arkansas coach Mike Anderson works with guard Daryl Macon (4) during the first half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Alabama on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (Vasha Hunt/AL.com via AP)
Arkansas coach Mike Anderson works with guard Daryl Macon (4) during the first half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Alabama on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (Vasha Hunt/AL.com via AP)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The Arkansas Razorbacks received their usual strong offensive production from standouts Daryl Macon, Jaylen Barford and Daniel Gafford on Saturday against Alabama.

But the Razorbacks needed key contributions from role players such as C.J. Jones, Dustin Thomas and Adrio Bailey to hold off the Crimson Tide 76-73 for their third SEC road victory.

Jones broke out of an extended shooting slump with 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting while playing in front of a large array of friends and family who came over from his hometown of Birmingham, Ala.

Thomas scored a season-high 11 points, including six in a row for the Hogs during a late-game stretch.

Bailey, who had played sparingly recently while battling the flu, contributed 7 points on 3-of-4 shooting and had 5 rebounds.

"We had guys coming off the bench and giving us great, great contributions," University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Coach Mike Anderson said.

Jones had been 1 of 16 from three-point range in his past seven games, and he was 11 of 32 from the floor in that span. But the sophomore sensed he might have a breakout game near the home folks.

"I had a pretty good shoot-around, so I thought this might be the game I might break out and I did," Jones said on the Arkansas postgame radio show. "My teammates were finding me. They set out to find me and give me open looks, so I was just playing my game."

Jones' three-pointer at the 13:15 mark gave the Hogs a 16-7 lead. He went on to hit all three of his three-point shots.

"On the scouting report, he showed up as one of their best shooters," Alabama guard John Petty said. "He's a shooter, and all shooters go through slumps. He came out tonight and made a couple of threes."

Jones said his family and friends probably accounted for half of the Arkansas fans in attendance.

"Being from Alabama, I wanted to show them what they missed out on, but I am glad to be a Razorback," Jones said.

Board beatdown

Arkansas outrebounded the Crimson Tide 36-28 in a statistical category Coach Mike Anderson knew the Razorbacks had to win to beat Alabama.

"We wanted to attack the glass," Anderson said.

Daniel Gafford and Trey Thompson had seven rebounds each to lead the Hogs.

Dunk meter

Daniel Gafford's two-hand dunk at the 17:10 mark of the first half, on a strong pass to the post from Anton Beard, was the Razorbacks' 100th dunk of the season.

The 6-11 freshman had 56 of the first 100 dunks, which Arkansas accomplished in 29 games, the fewest of the Mike Anderson era. The previous fastest was the 2014-2015 season, which took 35 games.

Gafford finished with three dunks.

Yo, Adrio

Arkansas forward Adrio Bailey returned from a stretch in which he played two minutes during four games to put up 7 points and 5 rebounds in 13 minutes.

Bailey had not played in three of the past four games, largely because he came down with the flu prior to the Vanderbilt game Feb. 10.

Hot start

The Razorbacks got off to a sizzling start for the second game in a row to take a 7-0 lead at Alabama. Arkansas led Kentucky 11-0 in the early going Tuesday.

Jaylen Barford drove the right base line for a layup, Dustin Thomas converted a layup in transition and Barford connected on a three-pointer at the 17:55 mark.

"We came out and couldn't make a move," Alabama Coach Avery Johnson said. "We were turning the ball over in half court. We just didn't look like a focused team to start the game."

Sexton scores

Alabama freshman Collin Sexton scored 15 points on 3-of-10 shooting, which included 0 of 5 from three-point range, and 9 of 13 free throws.

Sexton played despite his name coming up in the latest Yahoo! Sports story detailing FBI investigations into college basketball.

The series

Arkansas now leads the series 33-28.

The Razorbacks won their fourth in a row against the Crimson Tide for the second time. Arkansas also won four in a row from 2006-2008.

End to end

C.J. Jones capped a wild sequence that went up and down the floor twice in lightning fashion with a three-pointer from the right corner to give Arkansas a 28-21 lead at the 4:04 mark of the first half.

The sequence started when Anton Beard had the ball stripped away by Herbert Jones near the top of the key. Jones dribbled quickly down floor for what looked to be a layup before Daryl Macon sprinted in and raked the ball away for a steal. Moments later, Macon penetrated and threw blindly behind him to Jones in the corner for his second three-pointer of the game.

First five

Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson went with the starting lineup of guards Jaylen Barford, Anton Beard and Daryl Macon, and forwards Daniel Gafford and Dustin Thomas for the fourth consecutive game.

Tip-ins

• At halftime, the career point totals for Arkansas guards Jaylen Barford and Daryl Macon were 978 for both players.

• Arkansas has won the last 37 games it led at halftime. They are 122-7 under Coach Mike Anderson when leading at the half.

• Former Alabama and UALR coach Wimp Sanderson attended the game wearing a bright teal jacket.

• Arkansas reserves Arlando Cook and C.J. Jones were both called for Flagrant 1 fouls, which gave Alabama two free throws and the ball.

Sports on 02/25/2018

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