Things looked pretty bleak for the Hogs with 3:45 remaining. Admiral Schofield had gotten his 15th and 16th points which led the Vols at the time, and Tennessee had a 70-61 lead. After an Arlando Cook free throw, Arkansas got a stop and it turned into a Daryl Macon three. Jaylen Barford stole in inbounds pass and Daniel Gafford cut the lead to five and everything changed.
Bud Walton Arena had come alive.
The crowd of 18,696 were all on their feet and were making a ton of noise. The Hogs would ride that momentum for a 28-8 run that would span the over seven minutes in the second half and overtime.
Down one with less than a minute to go, a pick and roll to Daniel Gafford ended in a monstrous dunk that gave the Hogs their first lead and the crowd erupted.
Daniel Gafford with the slam to give Arkansas the lead late!!— Basketball Society (@BBallSociety_) December 30, 2017
(via @clippittv) pic.twitter.com/KErU4wPdK8
Jordan Bone would make one of two free throws to tie things and Daryl Macon’s three and CJ Jones’ put back attempt both missed and we went to overtime. And that’s where Macon took the game over.
The Hogs opened overtime on a 16-5 run with Tennessee’s Grant Williams fouled out of the game. Macon had nine of his 13 overtime points during that run. That contributed to a career high 33 point performance. After two acrobatic layups, Jaylen Barford had a fast break score. The Hogs got another stop and then back-to-back threes from Macon and Anton Beard put the Hogs up 11 with under a minute to go.
Tennessee still did their best to make things wayyyyy more interesting than they should have. After missed free throws from Gafford, Barford, and Beard, Lamonte Turner had a couple threes and got things back down to a two point game. Macon stepped up to the line last and calmly hit both of his to ice the game after those.
In addition to Macon’s 33, Jaylen Barford had 28 points with five boards and four assists. Gafford and Beard also hit double figures in this one. Arkansas’ usually trustworthy bench production was down in this game. The Hogs had to lean on their stars more with the bench going 2/7 for the game.
With a pair of road games coming up, the Hogs really wanted to start off SEC play with a win. Something the Hogs have only done twice in the last six years now. In the big picture it gives the Hogs another signature win against a team with a very high RPI. The AP and Coaches Polls are absolutely meaningless in college basketball but the Hogs will surely be in those now if you’re wanting that.
Most importantly, it shows the Hogs can beat good teams when their not at their best. For 35 minutes, Tennessee very much looked like the better team in this one, but the Hogs were able to find a way to pull out a win. Something that will be very important in the next few months. They did that with the help of a huge Bud Walton crowd. When the Hogs got rolling, the building seemed like one of the best places to be in college basketball, and once that happens the Hogs can look invincible at times.