This was the kind of dominance you always like to see from the Razorbacks in non-conference play.
Arkansas jumped out on SIU early and the game was never close. The primary reason is that the Hogs were really hot from 3-point land. The Razorbacks made 9-of-12 threes in the first half to build a 56-25 halftime lead and both teams seemed to play the second half on autopilot.
The Hogs cooled down a bit in the second half, but the game was over by that point. Nobody played 30 minutes the way a few players did in the opener last week. Against SIU, Moses Kingsley and Jaylen Barford led the team with 22 minutes. Only two of the new true freshmen, Adrio Bailey and Brachen Hazen, played fewer than 10 minutes. Lots of players got some quality time in, which is good to see.
Dusty Hannahs led the way again with 19 points and was 5-of-6 from beyond the arc. It felt like the kind of night he could’ve gone for 30 if the Hogs needed it. Kingsley had 14 points and 7 rebounds. Daryl Macon had 12 points.
C.J. Jones returned to the lineup following his ankle injury suffered during the exhibition games, so this was officially his season debut for the Razorbacks. He didn’t disappoint, scoring 11 points in 17 minutes, including a 4-point play and an alley-oop from Anton Beard that was probably the highlight of the game.
It was also nice to see Arkansas rebound better. They allowed half the offensive rebounds to SIU that they gave up in the opener. The officials called the game much more loosley as well. There were only 36 fouls called compared to 50+ last Friday.
It’s hard to know how good SIU will be. They lost a close game last week in their opener. This probably won’t be the toughest mid-major non-con Arkansas plays this season. But it was good to see them play well.