clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Recap: Hogs Defensive Effort In First Half Enough For Win Over Fresno

Plus Daniel Gafford dunked a lot!

NCAA Basketball: Texas A&M at Arkansas Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Daniel Gafford fouled out in his first two games, and while he showed signs we were left to wonder what he could look like if he stayed out of foul trouble. He showed us tonight in a 83-75 win over Fresno State. Gafford dunked on just about everyone in this game, finishing with 25 points (on just 11 shots), 8 rebounds, and three blocks.

With Trey Thompson in early foul trouble, Gafford came on early and affected the game with his defense and that spread to the entire team. The Hogs didn’t get off to a fast offensive start like they had in the first two games but still took a 14 point lead to half thanks to a ferocious defence. Fresno had no easy looks and shot just 31% from the field in the half.

The second half got a lot more offensive with Bryson Williams opening the second half with four straight buckets. Then Gafford asserted himself with a pair of highlight dunks and a big block. In a five minute stretch in the second half Arkansas made five shots. All five were Gafford dunks. At the end of that barrage the Hogs had a 19 point lead and all the points they needed.

Fresno was able to close the gap at the end, and made the final score look a lot closer than most of the game was. Arkansas got a little sloppy and the Bulldogs caught fire to bring the game within single digits but there was too little time left to really threaten.

Gafford let the Hogs in both scoring and rebounding. Jaylen Barford also put in a nice shift with 18 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. Daryl Macon didn’t have his best shooting night but had 11, and Anton Beard had his season high of 15 points.

Next up for the Hogs is Oklahoma in their biggest test thus far. The first three teams Arkansas has played thus far are talented mid-majors that will win a lot of games this year, but aren’t at the same level of the Sooners. Arkansas will need similar performances from Gafford and Barford in that one.