Gafford’s career high lifts Arkansas over Indiana 73-72
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Daniel Gafford scored a career-high 27 points, Mason Jones hit the front-end of a one-and-one with 2.5 seconds left and Arkansas held off Indiana 73-72 Sunday in the Hardwood Showcase.
Arkansas (2-1) twice led by double-digits in the second half, but the Hoosiers (3-1) rallied back as Romeo Langford hit back-to-back 3-pointers to tie the game at 69. Rob Phinisee’s deep ball tied the score at 72 with under a minute left.
Indiana had a chance to take the lead with under 15 seconds left, but two shots under the Hoosiers’ basket would not fall and Jones rebounded the second miss and was fouled by De’Ron Davis with 2.5 seconds left. Jones hit the first free throw, then after an Indiana time out, deliberately missed the second shot and the Hoosiers put up a desperation shot at the buzzer.
Arkansas rode the second half play of Gafford, who also grabbed 11 rebounds. At one stretch in the second half, Gafford scored 10 straight Arkansas points to help the Razorbacks hold on against a furious Indiana rally.
Arkansas led 38-35 at halftime on Gabe Osabuohien’s 3-pointer from the right perimeter. Then Isaiah Joe, who finished with 13 points, opened the second half with a 3-pointer for a 41-35 lead. The Razorbacks would stretch the lead to 10 points twice — 45-35 with 17:08 left on Gafford’s dunk, and 51-41.
Indiana rallied with an 11-2 run fueled by Langford, who finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds, and eventually took a 58-57 lead on Juwan Morgan’s layup with 8:58 left.
Arkansas recaptured a five-point lead at 63-58 on Gafford’s inside shot, before Indiana surged again to twice tie the game late.
Indiana: The Hoosiers played just eight players as they have battled some early season injuries. Six of the eight logged more than 20 minutes including Langford, who played 38 minutes.
Arkansas: The Razorbacks had all nine players reach the scoring column Sunday, getting contributions off the bench to help the scoring. Jones also delivered a huge performance with 11 points and seven assists without a turnover.
Indiana will return home Tuesday to host Texas-Arlington in the second game of the four-game Hardwood Showcase.
Arkansas will host Montana State on Wednesday in Bud Walton Arena in its second game of the Hardwood Showcase.