Arkansas Goes 4-0 for Hardwood Showcase with Win Over UT Arlington

FAYETTEVILLE – Daniel Gafford made a career-high nine free throws and tied a career-high with 10 attempts, scoring 21 points in 22 minutes, to lead Arkansas to a 78-60 victory over UT Arlington Friday night at Bud Walton Arena.

The Razorbacks have won four straight were the only team in the Hardwood Classic to go 4-0.

Jalen Harris scored 14, making 8-of-11 from the free throw line, as the Razorbacks were 34-of-46 from the charity stripe for the game. The last time Arkansas attempted at least 40 free throws was going 27-of-40 from the line versus Sam Houston in the 2016-17 season.

The Razorbacks’ success from the line off-set a poor performance from the field. Arkansas only made 38.2 percent of its shots (21-of-55) while going just 2-for-16 from 3-point range. Arkansas also used a strong defensive effort to secure the win, holding the Mavericks to just 32.7 percent shooting from the field. UTA also committed 19 turnovers with just seven assists.

Gafford picked up his fourth foul midway through the second half an did not play the final 9:26 of the contest. Reggie Chaney helped pick up the slack with eight points and eight rebounds in 18 minutes. Adrio Bailey, who had three steals and two blocked shots, added 14 points and Isaiah Joe had 10.

UTA was led by Erdic Dennis (19 points) and Brian Warren (15 points).

Arkansas will complete its five-game homestand on Saturday (Dec. 1) versus FIU.

FIRST HALF: Arkansas 31 – UTA 26

  • UTA scored the first points of the game, making 1-of-3 at the free throw line, within the first 30 seconds. However, the Razorbacks answered with a 7-0 run and never surrendered the lead.
  • UTA cut its deficit to one, 15-14, after a 3-pointer by Edric Dennis at the 7-minute mark.
  • While the Razorbacks struggled at the line early (making just 6 of their first 13), Daniel Gafford, Adrio Bailey, Jalen Harris and Keyshawn Embery-Simpson combined to make for eight straight inside the final six minutes to give the Razorbacks breathing room.
  • Daniel Gafford had back-to-back dunks, one an alley-oop from Desi Sills and another from Jalen Harris, to give the Razorbacks a 9-point lead (29-20) to match their largest lead of the half with 1:42 left.
  • Arkansas only made eight baskets in the half, shooting 32 percent. However, the Razorback defense held the Mavericks to just 28.6 percent shooting.
  • Daniel Gafford was Arkansas’ leading scorer at the half with 12 points, going 6-of-6 at the line.

SECOND HALF: Arkansas forced 11 turnovers and UTA only had one assist.

  • UTA cut its deficit to three twice early in the second half, but the Razorback bench – and their defensive effort – helped on a 6-0 run, capped by turnover and a Reggie Chaney dunk, for a 12-point lead 51-39.
  • Isaiah Joe ended a 3-point drought as part of a 15-6 run from 8:18 to 4:22 for a 17-point lead, the largest for the Razorbacks at the time.
  • A Reggie Chaney dunk with 11 seconds left put Arkansas up 18 and provided the 78-60 final score.

GAME NOTES:

  • Arkansas starters were Isaiah Joe (G) – Jalen Harris (G) – Mason Jones (G) – Adrio Bailey (F) – Daniel Gafford (F).
  • UTA controlled the tip and scored the first points of the game when Brian Warren made 1-of-3 free throws at 19:36.
  • Arkansas improved to 8-0 all time versus UT Arlington, including a 6-0 scoresheet in Fayetteville.
  • Arkansas is now 130-7 under head coach Mike Anderson when leading at the half, including 44 consecutive.
  • Jalen Harris scored the first points for the Razorbacks, a layup at 18:44.
  • Isaiah Joe made the Razorbacks’ first 3-point attempt of the game and the team missed its next 12 until Joe made a trey with 6:38 left in the second half.
  • Daniel Gafford made a career-high nine free throws and 10 attempts ties a career high.
  • Jordan Phillips made two free throws with 1:47 left in the game to put Arkansas up 18 (76-78) for the freshman’s first two career points.
BY Mike Cawood