Hogs con­tinue to roll on road

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - SPORTS - TOM MUR­PHY


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.

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