In The Lane:

Macon left on the bench at start

By: Tom Murphy
Published: Sunday, January 14, 2018
Arkansas guard Daryl Macon (4) goes for a loose ball during a game against Missouri on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, in Fayetteville.
Photo by Andy Shupe
Arkansas guard Daryl Macon (4) goes for a loose ball during a game against Missouri on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, in Fayetteville.

First five

Darious Hall joined guards Jaylen Barford and Anton Beard, and forwards Dustin Thomas and Daniel Gafford in the starting lineup for the first time.

Senior guard Daryl Macon did not start for the first time this season, leaving Barford and Beard as the only players to start all 17 games. Gafford has started the past nine games, and Thomas has started nine of the past 10, returning to the opening lineup after a one-game hiatus for Adrio Bailey.

“I was happy when he didn’t start,” Missouri Coach Cuonzo Martin said of Macon. “He’s a talented player and can make plays. He’s shifty. He keeps the ball, keeps it alive. He can attack downhill. He shoots pull-ups, he shoots three balls. Guys like that are hard to guard.”

Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson was asked about leaving Macon, who had 8 points, 8 assists and 6 rebounds, out of the starting lineup for the first time.

“We have eight or nine starters,” he said. “I don’t know how they see it, but we’ve got eight or nine starters. The key is playing time.

“You look and he played 26 minutes and was very, very effective. He probably played some of his better defense going down the stretch for us. And that’s what we’ve been talking about is our defense. Daryl did a great job orchestrating screen and rolls for Daniel.”

Saturdays!

The Razorbacks improved to 38-5 in home games played on Saturdays under Coach Mike Anderson with the victory over Missouri, which was Arkansas’ ninth consecutive Saturday victory at Walton Arena.

The Hogs are 4-0 against Missouri on Saturdays at Walton Arena under Anderson. Their last Saturday loss at Walton Arena came in a 76-61 setback against South Carolina on March 5, 2016, in the regular-season finale.

Offensive screens

Missouri blew two offensive possessions in the final two minutes on illegal screens that resulted in fouls. Tigers forward Kevin Puryear was whistled for moving to block off guard Daryl Macon, who tumbled dramatically to the court to get the call with 1:59 remaining and Missouri ahead 63-62.

With the score tied at 63-63 on Missouri’s next possession, 6-10 freshman Jeremiah Tilmon put a heavy shoulder into Anton Beard and was called for the foul as Beard stayed on the floor for a few moments.

“Oh, big,” Missouri Coach Cuonzo Martin said to describe the offensive fouls, which are charted as turnovers. “You’ve got to get a shot off. It’s just unfortunate. Got to continue to work on it. But that can’t happen.”

Cold start

Arkansas got off to a cold start for the second consecutive home game. The Razorbacks missed their first three shots —a pair of jumpers from Daniel Gafford and a three-pointer from Jaylen Barford — and trailed 5-1.

Gafford turned a power move in the paint into a dunk, then Barford hit a driving scoop layup as the Hogs made 8 of 9 shots in a six-minute stretch.

Throwing down

Arkansas’ free-throw shooting has dropped markedly from last season, and its performance Saturday didn’t help.

The Hogs entered the game ranked 12th in free-throw shooting in the SEC at 67.2 percent and that number dropped after a 14-of-25 (56 percent) performance against Missouri.

“I look at our free-throw percentage, and it could have been a different game,” Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson said.

Sellout data

Saturday’s game marked the third sellout for the Razorbacks — after dates against Troy in North Little Rock and Tennessee at Walton Arena — with at least two more upcoming. UA officials have announced that home games against Oklahoma State on Jan. 27 and against Texas A&M on Feb. 17 are sellouts.

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