Hogs continue to roll on road
ARKANSAS 79, AUBURN 68
AUBURN, Ala. — Arkansas Razorbacks Coach Mike Anderson brought an unbeaten streak and a large gathering of friends and family into Auburn Arena on Saturday.
Anderson and the Razorbacks kept Arkansas’ winning streak at Auburn Arena alive with a workmanlike 79-68 victory over the Tigers
before a crowd of 8,098.
The University of Arkansas (22-7, 11-5) improved to 5-0 at Auburn Arena and remained in a tie for third place in the SEC with their fifth consecutive victory.
“I’m from Alabama, so I’ve got a lot of family here, Anderson said. “I’ve been fortunate our teams have played well here, and as a coach, you enjoy coaching in a competitive closed-in environment.”
Arkansas improved to 6-2 in SEC road games and avenged a 90-86 loss to the Tigers (17-12, 6-10 SEC) last season in Walton Arena.
“Arkansas is better than us, but they’re not that much better than us,” Auburn Coach Bruce Pearl said. “They came in here and controlled this game in our building.”
The Razorbacks shot 50 percent from the field (29 of 58) and limited Auburn to 37.1 percent on 23 of 62 shooting.
Arkansas never trailed after a layup in transition from Jaylen Barford made it 2928 with 4:39 left in the first half, and repelled the young Tigers after Auburn cut its deficit to six points twice in the second half.
Dusty Hannahs scored eight consecutive points for the Razorbacks after Auburn pulled within 55-49 with 11 minutes left in the game.
“As time has gone on, as a player I’ve recognized the crucial moments of a game,” said Hannahs, who finished with 18 points, including 3 of 7 on three-point attempts. “They were making a run right there and I was just thinking ‘Be aggressive and some baskets could break their back.’ We got those baskets and held serve on the defensive end and pulled off the win.
Barford led Arkansas with 20 points, including six points surrounding a Trey Thompson tip-in to fend off another Auburn run.
“We just made some plays and dug in on defense and rebounded the ball,” Barford said. “This means a lot. It’s another big road win with just two more games left.”
The Razorbacks got strong contributions from
Thompson, who played a career-high 29 minutes, and Arlando Cook, who scored eight points off the bench, as starting center Moses Kingsley was limited to 15 minutes due to foul trouble.
Thompson had a gamehigh 11 rebounds, 10 on the defensive end, and Arkansas outrebounded Auburn 41-33. Cook went 3 of 3 from the field and scored all eight of his points in the first half.
“You look at Trey Thompson’s board work,” Anderson said. “Those were career minutes for him, and how he rewards me is he gets 11 rebounds and has some tremendous assists. Just his presence on the floor is huge for our basketball team.”
Auburn guard Jared Harper scored 17 points, and fellow freshman Mustapha Heron added 16. He has scored 10 or more points in 28 of 29 games.
“One of the things that I’m probably most disappointed in is the fact that we just haven’t defended our home floor, particularly in conference play,” said Pearl, whose Tigers dropped to 3-5 in league home games. “Our kids really wanted this one, and I thought we were ready. We just didn’t execute.
“We prepared for their zone and in practice we were lights out. Then in the game we just didn’t execute our spacing and our timing.”
The Tigers, who rely on three-point shooting as much as any team in the SEC, made 10 of 24 from three- point range. Arkansas was 5 of 17 from beyond the arc.
Arkansas has won 11 SEC games for the sixth time overall and the second time in the past 19 years.
The Razorbacks also improved to 10-5 in their past 15 games away from Walton Arena.
Arkansas made 10 of 10 from the line in the final 3:58 to stay ahead. The Razorbacks were 16 of 20 (80 percent) for the game, while the Tigers were 12 of 23 (52.2 percent) on free throws.
Kingsley had no points and one rebound in the first half after going to the bench for good at the 17:01 mark following his second foul.
Arkansas extended its 40-31 halftime lead out to 13
points on a two occasions early in the second half.
Barford and Kingsley hit consecutive baskets to put the Hogs on top 44- 31. A dunk by Dustin Thomas on a pass by Kingsley made it 46-33 moments later.
Hannahs’ eight consecutive points helped Arkansas push its lead to 63-52, and Barford’s step-back jumper made it 65-52.
Arkansas outscored the Tigers 36-24 in the paint despite the off night from Kingsley, who finished with 8 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocked shots.
The teams traded the lead six times in the first half, which ended with Arkansas leading 40-31 on the heels of a 13-3 run to end the period.
Cook contributed his eight points in a stretch of four minutes, making 3 of 3 shots from the floor and a pair of free throws.
Thompson chipped in 4 rebounds 3 assists and 2 points, on a straight-away 18 footer in his 14-minute stint in the first half. Thomas had three rebounds and two points in the opening half.
After Hannahs opened the scoring with a three-pointer, Auburn scored eight consecutive points, including three-point shots from Bryce Brown and Danjel Purifoy.
The Razorbacks reclaimed the lead with a 15-6 run, triggered by six points from Cook and a three-pointer by Daryl Macon, who scored 13 points.
Auburn gained a pair of one- point leads over the next six minutes, but Arkansas closed the half in strong fashion. Barford scored six consecutive points, all in the paint, to make it 33-28. Thompson gave Hannahs a backdoor pass for a layup and it turned into a three-point play when TJ Lang fouled the Arkansas guard on the play.
The Razorbacks’ largest first half lead was 10 points after a strange sequence. With Auburn’s T.J. Dunans at the line, Auburn Coach Bruce Pearl drew a technical foul. Barford made the second try on the two-shot technical for a 40-30 lead. Dunans capped the first half scoring by hitting one of his two free throws.
Arkansas guard Dusty Hannahs (center) drives while Auburn guards Jared Harper (1) and T.J. Dunans defend Saturday in Auburn, Ala.
Arkansas guard Jaylen Barford (0) drives against Auburn guard Ronnie Johnson on Saturday in Auburn, Ala.