Postgame thoughts: Arkansas 97, Ole Miss 93

By: Scottie Bordelon
Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018
Arkansas Razorbacks guard Daryl Macon (4) shoots a three as Mississippi Rebels guard Deandre Burnett (1) covers during a basketball game, Saturday, January 20, 2018 at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville.
Photo by Charlie Kaijo
Arkansas Razorbacks guard Daryl Macon (4) shoots a three as Mississippi Rebels guard Deandre Burnett (1) covers during a basketball game, Saturday, January 20, 2018 at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville.

Daryl hot off the bench

— About an hour before Saturday's game tipped off, Daryl Macon was pulling and making 3s from well beyond the 28-foot marker.

His first couple of makes from distance against Ole Miss weren't as deep as those pregame jumpers, but they reminded everyone of his in-the-gym range. Macon wound up hitting three 3s and scoring 11 points in a 2:37 span that put Arkansas up nine midway through the first half.

Following Macon's hot start, Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy adjusted and sent 6-4 guard Markel Crawford to chase, disrupt and, at times, faceguard Macon. Macon didn't score over the final nine minutes of the first half, but did pick up a pair of assists.

While Daryl came out firing in his first few minutes, he was in more of a giving mood once he entered after halftime, assisting on three consecutive Arkansas buckets that included a pair of layups from Arlando Cook.

There was also little doubt who wanted to be at the foul line late. Daryl did, and he went 6 of 6 in the final minute and 13 seconds and 11 of 12 in the win. He's easily Arkansas' best option in that regard.

Davis breaks out of funk

Terence Davis likes playing Arkansas.

As a sophomore last season, Davis averaged 25 points per game against the Razorbacks, and Saturday he made life difficult for them again, pouring in a season-high 30 points.

His offensive explosion was more than welcomed, too. Coming into the game, Davis had been in a major shooting slump in SEC play, connecting on 23 percent of his shots and a woeful 12 percent on 3s. He finished 10 of 15 from the floor and 5 of 8 from deep on Saturday.

"He's really been struggling, so it was good to see him be aggressive," Andy Kennedy said. "The ball went in for him a couple of times. He was really our only productive guy offensively early."

Davis had a game-high 17 points at the half, and was the only Ole Miss player with more than two buckets. He also had a really impressive sequence late in the first half in which he picked the pocket of an Arkansas guard and finished at the other end with a dunk.

He was a tough check throughout the night, and a guy the Hogs left all alone far too often.

Thomas, Osabuohien draw DNPs

Dustin Thomas and freshman Gabe Osabuohien, who Mike Anderson said would definitely see the floor on Saturday, both drew DNPs against Ole Miss.

Postgame, Anderson said Thomas sitting was not a disciplinary thing. He simply wanted to run with some other guys, and Adrio Bailey (23 minutes) and Arlando Cook, who provided six big points and three rebounds, stepped up for him. Arkansas was +11 with Cook on the floor.

Thomas had started 10 of Arkansas' last 11 games before today, so it'll be interesting to see what his role is against a tough Georgia front line on Tuesday.

Signature moments from Gafford

There has been no shortage of huge plays from Daniel Gafford this season, and he seemingly adds to his insane highlight reel in every big game.

Early in the second half, Jaylen Barford flew down the floor following an Ole Miss turnover and missed on a floater, but Gafford was right there for a monster two-hand putback dunk.

Then, with under a minute to play and Ole Miss furiously rallying, he blocked a Deandre Burnett layup 3-4 rows in the stands. Impressive stuff.

You can almost bank on an otherworldly play from the freshman each night out, and there will certainly be more to come.

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