In The Lane:

Hogs have abundance in reserve

By: Tom Murphy
Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018
Arkansas guard Daryl Macon (4) walks to the bench during a game against Ole Miss on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, in Fayetteville.
Photo by Charlie Kaijo
Arkansas guard Daryl Macon (4) walks to the bench during a game against Ole Miss on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE — The Arkansas Razorbacks crushed Ole Miss in bench scoring during Saturday's 97-93 victory at Walton Arena.

The Razorbacks' reserves accounted for 39 points, their high in an SEC game and fourth-highest of the season, and out-scored their Ole Miss counterparts 39-12.

Of course it helps the bench scoring when the team's second-leading scorer, Daryl Macon, isn't in the starting lineup, as was the case on Saturday.

Macon scored 20 points, including 11 of 12 shooting from the free-throw line, and C.J. Jones added 11 points to spark the reserves.

"I've always said our bench is probably our strongest component, and I thought that came to fruition this afternoon," Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson said. "We brought Macon off the bench and it gave us a lot more balance. I thought C.J. had one of those games where he continues to almost break out."

Arlando Cook hit 3 of 4 shots for 6 points and added 3 rebounds, and Trey Thompson chipped in 4 rebounds and 2 points.

"I just thought we came out and played with that edge," Anderson said. "It looked more like our basketball team."

Ole Miss Coach Andy Kennedy noted the Razorbacks' strong contributions from their bench.

"Your role players typically play better at home," Kennedy said. "I thought they got contributions out of everyone."

Five for 10

The Razorbacks put five players in double figures, with Jaylen Barford scoring 23 points, followed by Daryl Macon with 20, Daniel Gafford with 15 and Darious Hall and C.J. Jones with 11 each.

Arkansas had not had five players with 10-plus points since a 95-68 victory over Cal State-Bakersfield on Dec. 27.

"I think it's critical to our basketball team," Coach Mike Anderson said. "You're seeing more guys get into double figures. C.J. is getting there. That way we're not just a one-man, two-man team, where if you stop these two guys, you stop the Razorbacks. You stop three guys, you stop the Razorbacks.

"On any given night we have some guys that are capable of scoring 20-plus, 15-plus. But if you get multiple guys that are scoring, boy it adds up and it added up to 97 points tonight."

'Free' frenzy

The Razorbacks made their first 10 free throws before freshman Daniel Gafford missed the front end of a one-and-one opportunity with 5:17 left in the first half.

Arkansas finished 28 of 35 from the line for 80 percent, its best free-throw shooting in an SEC game by a wide margin, reversing a recent trend.

Darious Hall, a 50 percent free throw shooter in SEC play, led the way with an 8 of 8 performance from the line, followed by Daryl Macon's 11 of 12. Gafford, who was shooting 41.9 percent in the SEC, made 3 of 4.

"We work on free throws pretty much every day, after practice, before practice," Gafford said. "But those were pretty big free throws we hit tonight and that’s all I can say about that because we just have been working on them. We were a bad free throw shooting team at the time but you know, we’re progressing."

Arkansas entered the game last in the SEC in free throw shooting on the year (.655) and in SEC play (.573).

"I was proud of our guys' effort on the free throw line today. That's the difference in the game," Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson said.

"They go 80 percent and what were they coming in, 57 or 58 percent?" Ole Miss Coach Andy Kennedy said. "Something crazy. … That's a credit to them. That's kids just locked in and making shots. They wanted to win and they proved that."

Breakout

Ole Miss guard Terence Davis made his return to the starting lineup after a two-game hiatus a productive one.

Davis broke out of a deep shooting slump in SEC play by scoring 30 points on 10 of 15 shooting, including 5 of 8 from 3-point range. The junior guard entered the game shooting 22.6 percent in six SEC games, including 4 of 33 (12.1 percent) from 3-point range.

Davis made 7 of 9 shots, including 2 of 3 from three-point range, in the first half and scored 17 points.

"Yeah, he's really been struggling so it's good to see him aggressive," Ole Miss Coach Andy Kennedy said. "He was really our only productive guy offensively early."

Crowd pleasers

Adrio Bailey put the Walton Arena crowd into a frenzy on back-to-back plays late in the first half.

Bailey dropped a post-to-block pass into Daniel Gafford for a lay in to give the Razorbacks a 45-32 lead. Moments later, he fed Gafford again for a dunk.

Gafford had two dunks in the game, the second a putback slam over Ole Miss guard Breein Tyree after Jaylen Barford's steal and missed layup early in the second half.

Gafford increased his team-leading dunk total to 42 and the Hogs improved to 13-2 in games Gafford has a dunk.

"Daniel Gafford, what a tremendous player," Ole Miss Coach Andy Kennedy said. "He's long, he's athletic, he chases balls and he's a presence on both ends of the floor."

Injury update

Arkansas guard Anton Beard recovered well enough from the ankle injury he suffered on Wednesday at Florida to make his 19th consecutive start. Florida forward Kevarrius Hayes stepped on Beard's right ankle in the first half and the 6-foot guard did not return in that game. The senior from North Little Rock had 7 points, 5 assists and 2 rebounds in 30 minutes against the Rebels.

Arkansas forward Trey Thompson, who was limited to six minutes at Florida due to a tight hamstring, contributed four rebounds and two points in 12 minutes on Saturday.

Recruits in

During a timeout at the 13:55 mark, new football Coach Chad Morris and his coaching staff entered Walton with the visiting recruits. The crowd responded with a huge ovation as the football coaches and players made their way to their section of seats near the band.

Morris and his staff were introduced to an ovation at the 7:41 mark -- with Arkansas leading by a football-like score of 35-21 -- and they led the crowd in a Hog call.

Second chances

Ole Miss kept in contact throughout the second half, after trailing by as many as 16 points just before halftime, by crashing the offensive boards.

The Rebels doubled up the Razorbacks by a 22-11 count in second-chance points. Ole Miss had 12 offensive rebounds to eight by Arkansas.

Dustin down

Senior forward Dustin Thomas did not play on Saturday and Mike Anderson said it was a coach's decision and Thomas was not suspended.

Later, when discussing the team's big contributions off the bench, Anderson said, "Those add up when you put all of those guys together, then you're playing without a guy like Dustin Thomas tonight, so I was really proud of our bench."

T'd up

Ole Miss guard Breein Tyree had a rough sequence midway through the first half. Tyree and Arkansas guard Anton Beard were both in pursuit of a missed three-point shot from Rebels' forward Bruce Stevens near the top of the key when the two collided.

Tyree was called for a foul on the loose ball and apparently didn't like the call. Tyree retreated into his backcourt but before the ball could be inbounded he was whistled for a technical foul, recorded as his third personal foul of the half, by referee Don Shows. Tyree did not return in the half.

For starters

Mike Anderson used a starting five of guards Jaylen Barford and Anton Beard and forwards Adrio Bailey, Daniel Gafford and Darious Hall for the first time this season. This was the sixth different starting lineup for the Razorbacks.

Barford and Beard have started all 19 games, while Gafford has started the last 11 games in succession, Bailey has started 9 and Hall has started 2.

Tip ins

  • Arkansas' three SEC home wins have come by a combined eight points over Tennessee, Missouri and Ole Miss.
  • Ole Miss' Andy Kennedy, the winningest opposing coach at Walton Arena, fell to 5-5 in the building with the loss.
  • The Rebels led for a total of 21 seconds in the game, at 13-11 on a Terence Davis 3-pointer, before Darious Hall hit a 3-pointer for the Razorbacks at the 14:19 mark of the first half.
  • Ole Miss forward Bruce Stevens had his streak of 20-point games snapped at two as he managed 15 points on 5 of 9 shooting before fouling out with 2:05 to play.
  • Ole Miss made a trio of 3-pointers in the final 37 seconds to keep things close after the Razorbacks took a 90-83 lead on a pair of free throws by Darious Hall.

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