Hogs survive at home

Missouri pushes Arkansas in conference clash

By Nate Allen
This article was published January 14, 2018 at 4:00 a.m.

FAYETTEVILLE -- Though losing the 18-point lead they accumulated during the first half, the Arkansas Razorbacks made up a five-point deficit in the final 4:42 of the second half to survive 65-63 against Missouri Saturday at Bud Walton Arena.

The Hogs (12-5, 2-3 in the Southeastern Conference) led by two points in the final 57 seconds. They survived two missed 3-pointers by Missouri (12-5, 2-2) to notch an SEC win and end a three-game losing streak.

Up next for coach Mike Anderson's Razorbacks is an SEC game Wednesday night at Florida. Missouri was led by guard Kassius Robertson's game-high 26 points.

Leading 35-28 at intermission, Arkansas first trailed 74-73 in the second half at 7:15 by two Kevin Puryear free throws after Missouri rebounded the second of two Jeremiah Tilmon missed free throws and fed Robertson hitting one of his six 3-pointers.

Arkansas tied it 63-63 after Razorbacks senior guard Daryl Macon drew a Missouri charge before Arkansas senior forward Dustin Thomas hit 1 of 2 free throws at 1:37.

The Razorbacks forged ahead set up by a foul on Tilmon, the offensive foul setting a vicious pick on Arkansas senior guard Anton Beard.

Macon completed a lob to 6-11 freshman Daniel Gafford, Arkansas' leading scorer with 15 points, for the tie-breaking 65-63 thunder dunk at :57. Tilmon fouled Gafford but Gafford missed the free throw giving Missouri, 11 of 29 on threes, the chance to go up by one.

Jordan Barnett, 12 points for Missouri, took the first three at :43 but it rimmed out and Macon pulled down his sixth rebound. Arkansas ran clock but had to give it up on Macon's air ball with the shot-clock expiring at :15. Guard Jordan Geist fired the Tigers' last shot, his three rimmed out with two seconds left.

Aside from Gafford's 15 points, Arkansas got double-digit scoring from senior guard Jaylen Barford, 10 of his 13 points in the second half, but he also committed six turnovers. North Little Rock graduate Beard scored 11 points and freshman Darious Hall, of Little Rock Mills, scored 10 points in his first Razorback start. The normally high-scoring Macon only hit 2 of 7 for eight points but more than made up for it dealing eight assists and "played some of his best defense down the stretch," Anderson said.

Arkansas led by a first-half 18 at 30-12 at 5:49 of the first half yet only only led 36-28 at intermission. Robertson hit two threes during Missouri's 16-6 run in the half's final 5:49.

Hall and senior big man Trey Thompson assisted off the bench with two great passes for Hall buckets inside, fueled Arkansas' early lead. Arkansas muffed opportunities for a double digit lead at half hitting only 9 of 17 free throws while taking it to Missouri inside.

The Tigers took 18 first-half 3-pointers to Arkansas' six, outscored Arkansas 18-6 on first-half treys, but paid a price for its perimeter emphasis by getting to the free throw line just three times and hitting two.

Sports on 01/14/2018
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