FAYETTEVILLE – Isaiah Joe made 10 3-pointers and scored a career-high 34 points – the second-best production by a freshman in school history – to lead Arkansas (5-1) to a 121-89 victory over FIU (7-2) Saturday night at Bud Walton Arena.
Daniel Gafford (21 points and 10 rebounds) and Mason Jones (19 points and 10 rebounds) added double-doubles while Jalen Harris had 10 assists – the second time in three games he has registered at least 10 assists. Over his last three games, Harris has dished out 27 assists while committing just three turnovers.
Overall, the Razorbacks had 26 assists and shot a season-high 60.9 percent from the field, including 67.7 percent in the second half, while making a season-best 52 percent from 3-point range. The Razorback defense was just as impressive, holding FIU to just 37.3 percent shooting from the field and 16.7 percent from long range – the lowest by an Arkansas opponent this season.
Joe’s 10 3-pointers (on 13 attempts) ties for third on the school’s single-game list – becoming just the fifth Razorback to make as many double-digit treys – with the school record being 13. His 34 points were just one shy of the school record by a freshman as Bobby Portis scored 35 versus Alabama on Feb. 5, 2014.
This was the 16th time in school history Arkansas has scored at least 121 points and the most points by the program since claiming a 130-68 victory over Alcorn State on Nov. 13, 2009.
In the first half, Florida International cut a 13-point deficit to four midway through the period. However, Joe made a 3-pointer to spark a 19-5 run. Joe finished the half with 17 points on 5-of-7 shooting from 3-point range.
In the second half, FIU went on a mini-run and cut its deficit to 17. However, the Razorbacks answered with an 18-5 run over a three-minute span to put the game out of reach.
Arkansas will return to action and play its first true road game next Wednesday (Dec. 5) at Colorado State. Tip-off is set for 9 pm (CT)/8 pm (MT) and will be telecast on CBS Sports Network.
FIRST HALF: Arkansas 58 – FIU 35
- Arkansas’ Daniel Gafford controlled the tip and, eight seconds later, scored the first points of the game on a dunk.
- The Razorbacks scored the first five points of the game and led by 13 (22-9) at the 11:19 mark.
- The Panthers trimmed their deficit to four (24-20) with t 8:29 before Isaiah Joe drained a 3-pointer for a seven-point cushion.
- After that Joe three, the Razorback defense came alive and they went on a 19-5 run to lead 43-25 with 4:57 left in the half. More impressive was Arkansas was able to do so despite Daniel Gafford, Adrio Bailey, Reggie Chaney and Gabe Osabuohien each being whistled for two fouls.
- Isaiah Joe scored 11 points during the 19-5 run and ended the first half with team-high 17 points on 5-of-7 shooting from 3-point range.
- The Razorbacks shot 55.3 percent from the field, including 46.7 percent (7-of-15) from long range. On the other end, Arkansas held FIU to just 28.6 percent shooting from the field and just 16.7 percent (3-of-18) from beyond the arc.
SECOND HALF: Arkansas shot 67.7 percent from the field and used an 18-5 run to seal the win.
- The Razorbacks maintained at least a 20-point lead until FIU’s Willy Nunez Jr., hit a 3-pointer with 10:12 left as the Panthers trailed by 19, 85-68. The Panthers would cut their deficit to 17 twice.
- However, Arkansas answered with an 18-5 run over the next three minutes to take a 30-point lead.
- Ethan Henderson had a basket and made a free throw for his first three career points in a Razorback uniform.
- Arkansas starters for the sixth straight game were Isaiah Joe (G) – Jalen Harris (G) – Mason Jones (G) – Adrio Bailey (F) – Daniel Gafford (F).
- Arkansas controlled the tip and Daniel Gafford scored the first points of the game on a dunk eight seconds into the game.
- This was the first ever meeting between Arkansas and FIU on the hardwood.
- Isaiah Joe, Daniel Gafford, Mason Jones and Adrio Bailey each scored in double figures. Joe and Gafford are the only two Razorbacks to score double-figures in all six games this season.
- Arkansas is 131-7 during the Mike Anderson era when leading at the half, including a streak of 45 consecutive wins.
- Arkansas broke the 100-point plateau on an Adrio Bailey layup with 6:23 left in the game. It was the Razorbacks first time to eclipse 100 points this season ad first time since defeating Oral Roberts 104-6 last Dec. 19.
- The Razorbacks are now 135-5 when scoring at least 100 points all time.
- Mike Anderson is now 24-1 as a head coach when his teams score at least 100 points, including an 11-0 mark at Arkansas.
- Arkansas had nine dunks, including six by Daniel Gafford. The nine team dunks are the second-best total this season and third-best by an Arkansas team in the Mike Anderson era.
- For his career, Gafford has made 210 field goals, 97 (or 46.2 percent) of which have been dunks.
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