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Hogs Get Another Quick Start To Blow By Bucknell

Arkansas starts 2-0 against solid mid-major teams.

NCAA Basketball: Missouri at Arkansas Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

Arkansas responded to the test of playing Samford and passed with flying colors, would a tougher mid-major be a more difficult game for the Hogs?

Not really.

Arkansas got off to a quick shooting start and beat Bucknell 101-73 behind a career high 27 points from Jaylen Barford. The Hogs started the game 7/9 from the field to build an early 24-11 lead and never looked back. The lead was built thanks to an early 17-3 run that was ignited by the defense. A couple of blocks by Adrio Bailey led to transition baskets for the Hogs. They also stifled a very good shooting team to just a 4/14 start from the field.

Offensively Barford led the charge in the first half. He led the team with 21 points on 7/8 shooting in the first half. The Hogs also picked up 10 offensive rebounds that led to 16 second chance points. Arkansas outrebounded Bucknell 26-12 in the first half and 41-25 for the whole game.

The aggressiveness of this team really stands out in the first two games. Arkansas was attacking the rim hard, as evidenced by their 54-28 advantage in points in the paint. There was a constant barrage of shots at the rim, often going for the highlight play. On the other end Arkansas was ready for the block or steal to kickstart the fast break. The team through two games has been incredibly fun to watch and that aggressiveness is a big reason why.

Bucknell started the second half with a flurry of points led by Zach Thomas who finished with 24 points on the day. No matter how hot the Bison got, Arkansas had an answer on the other end. Barford stayed hot. Daryl Macon finished with 21 points. Daniel Gafford had a good showing in the second half after some foul trouble kept him out of the first half. He finished with 15 points on 5/7 shooting before fouling out in just 16 minutes.

The loudest the crowd got, was in the final minute though. When a thunderous dunk by Darious Hall was followed by Jonathan Holmes diving for a loose ball then getting a three pointer to send the bench into a frenzy right before the final whistle.

In the preview, the keys for Arkansas were to use their superior athleticism to their advantage and oh boy did they. A huge advantage in second chance points (25 for Arkansas, 8 for Bucknell) and points off turnovers (29 to 15) were among the big reasons Arkansas was able to win comfortably.

Arkansas has one final tune up before they head to Portland for the PK80 tournament. They play a Fresno State team who won 20 games last year and made the NIT. It might not be as big a challenge as Bucknell was intended to be. If the Hogs continue this level of play, they will cruise to Portland with a 3-0 record.