With 1:03 to go in the game, Arkansas was holding on to a two point lead, hadn’t made a field goal in nearly four minutes and was looking for anything to keep their lead. Arkansas had leaned on their senior guards for the majority of the game, but it was the freshman who hit the big shot. Anton Beard passed it to Daniel Gafford on the baseline and his 18-foot jumper was pure and gave the Hogs an 85-81 lead. They would ice the game with some stops and free throws and topped Oklahoma by a score of 92-83.
Daryl Macon finished with 27 points and five rebounds to lead the Hogs, including 13 in the second half. He out dueled Trae Young who had 28 points in the game. Jaylen Barford scored 19, Beard pitched in with 14, and Gafford’s jumper was part of his 13 point, eight rebound night.
Both Arkansas and Oklahoma were team who wanted to get up and down the court fast, and boy did they. The game got off to a fast and furious start with the two teams getting a combined 24 points before the first media timeout. Arkansas started with a hot start from both Barford and Macon shooting threes, the two started 5/5 on the game.
After a Gafford dunk stretched the lead to 23-15, Oklahoma was able to settle down and keep things within arms reach the rest of the half. They even took a quick 40-39 lead, but back-to-back buckets from Beard sparked a run that gave the Hogs a 50-45 halftime lead.
The two sides cooled off some in the second half, especially Arkansas’ guards who just got off to a 2/9 start in the second half. Oklahoma’s Young also was held scoreless in the first 13 minutes of the second half. Arkansas was able to get to the line enough in the second half, and held the Sooners to 2/12 shooting from deep in the second half. Both of those were key to the Hogs win.
The win is also a big one because Arkansas now avoids playing Portland, which means Arkansas gets three big time opponents instead of two. This win and the upcoming games will be big come Selection Sunday. No time to rest though, Arkansas gets the rematch against North Carolina that Hog fans have wanted since the brackets were announced. It’s clear that everyone who was part of last season’s end will be locked in for that one.