The list of things that went against the Hogs, some self-inflicted, some not, was staggering. But somehow the Hogs managed to escape Athens with an 80-77 win over Georgia.
Daryl Macon scored 16 of Arkansas’ 17 points in the two overtime periods, including three straight shots from deep, each more important than the last. That was overshadowed by a game saving block by Trey Thompson with just two seconds left on SEC Preseason Player of the Year Yante Maten while the Hogs were up just one.
Arkansas started the game shooting 3/17 and trailed by as much as 16 points early. It looked eerily similar to the LSU game where the Hogs just couldn’t get anything going. Arkansas was able to turn things with some increased defensive pressure that led to Jaylen Barford getting hot. The Hogs went on a stretch where they outscored the Bulldogs 43-21 and Barford had 20 of those. He finished the night with 24 and put the Hogs in a position to win. After that stretch the Hogs had turned a 16 point deficit to a 56-50 lead.
Macon had a tough first half, but hit a three that tied things at 61, then Anton Beard hit a tough jumper to give the Hogs a 63-61 lead with 28 seconds to go. Daniel Gafford tried to draw a charge to clinch it but the Bulldogs were bailed out with a, let’s say generous, blocking call. They hit both free throws and the game went to overtime.
Then Macon took over. Thompson hit a free throw to open the scoring in overtime but Macon would be the only player to score in the extra frame for the Hogs. He was 4/7 from the field and ended the game with two free throws to ice the game and raise his point total to 25.
Arkansas has fought their way back to 4-4 in conference play and it comes at a great time. The Hogs needed a road win in this stretch of having four out of five road games on the road. Once that stretch ends Arkansas has four of their next five at home and a chance to rack up some wins to climb the standings. Getting a win in this one was important to not have such a big hole to climb. It was pretty, but it got the job done, and at this point in the season getting the job done is all that matters.