FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas men’s basketball team ran away from 14th-ranked Minnesota Saturday in a wire-to-wire win, as the Razorbacks defeated the Golden Gophers 95-79.
The Razorbacks (7-2) improved to 19-9 against AP top 15 teams in the history of Bud Walton Arena.
After missing from deep on Arkansas’ initial possession, the Razorbacks nailed eight of their next nine shots, including five straight to give Arkansas an early 17-11 lead. Sophomore guard C.J. Jones caught fire, hitting three of Arkansas’ next six baskets, all from deep to give the Razorbacks their largest lead in the first half at 33-20.
It was Jones’ third three of the game, marking the fifth-straight contest the sharpshooter has made at least three made three-point baskets in a game.
Freshman forward Daniel Gafford started his first career game Saturday, going 6-of-6 from the floor in the first half to lead the Razorbacks at halftime with 12 points and four rebounds.
Going on to finish with 16 points on 8-of-8 shooting, it was Gafford’s sixth game this season scoring in double figures. He would also bring down seven rebounds and swat a career-high six blocks in the game.
The Razorbacks did a good job distributing the ball, assisting on 15 of 22 baskets in the first half, the most in a half this season. Senior guard Daryl Macon was held scoreless in the first half but was responsible for seven of Arkansas’ 15 first-half dimes. It marks the second straight game and third this season that Macon has seven or more assists in a game.
In the second half, Minnesota was able to get as close as six, but that was it. Senior guard Jaylen Barford hit this three to five the Razorbacks their largest lead of the game at 19.
Arkansas has led by at least 19 in all five home games this season.
Barford finished with a game-high 22 points, his fourth 20-point effort of the season, after going 9-of-15 from the floor. Six of Barford’s points came from behind the arc, marking his eighth game this season that he has hit at least two three pointers in a game.
Jones finished with 15 points, going 5-of-7 from the floor, all coming from behind the arc.
Macon would score all 12 of his points in the second half. He would finish with eight of Arkansas’ 23 assists to tie his career high.
Next up for Arkansas is its annual trip to Central Arkansas, as the Razorbacks take on the Troy Trojans Saturday, Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock. The game will not be televised but a limited number of tickets remain.
• Arkansas has won nine straight games in Bud Walton Arena dating back to last year.
• The win gives Arkansas 100 home wins during the Anderson era, ranking T-5th in the nation during his tenure.
• The Razorbacks are undefeated in their first five games in Bud Walton Arena for the fourth time in the last seven years.
• The win is Arkansas’ ninth over an AP Top 25 team during the Mike Anderson era, including at least one in six of his seven years.
• The Razorbacks are 35-23 against AP top 25 teams in Bud Walton Arena, including 19-9 against top 15 teams.
• In five home games this year, the Razorbacks are 5-0 with a +117 scoring margin, including a +90 scoring margin in the first half.
• During the last seven years, Arkansas is 42-3 when dishing out 20 assists, including a 30-1 mark in non-conference play. The Razorbacks are 3-0 this season when recording 20-plus dimes.
Season tickets, mini plans, mobile passes and single-game tickets for the 2017-18 season are available now at the Razorback Ticket Center by calling at 1-800-982-HOGS (4647) and online by clicking here.