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Barford's 27 help UA beat Bucknell

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Photographs by J.T. Wampler

Arkansas guard Jaylen Barford rises for a jumper. He finished with a career-high 27 points and the Razorbacks beat Bucknell 101-73 Sunday Nov. 12, 2017 at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville.

ARKANSAS 101, BUCKNELL 73

FAYETTEVILLE -- The player who wears 0 for the Arkansas Razorbacks filled up the basket against Bucknell on Sunday.

Senior guard Jaylen Barford scored a career-high 27 points to lead the Razorbacks to a 101-73 victory before an announced crowd of 6,477 at Walton Arena.

Barford hit 10 of 15 shots, including 7 of 8 in the decisive first half when the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville took a 56-34 lead. He had 21 points at halftime in 14 minutes.

"Jaylen was on fire," Razorbacks senior guard Daryl Macon said. "He wasn't missing in the first half, so I was going to him every time.

"He had an amazing game, I thought."

Barford said he began wearing No. 0 at Motlow State (Tenn.) Community College, where he played for two seasons before transferring to Arkansas last year.

"Really, it was just a new beginning thing," Barford said. "But after a while, I feel like zero people can guard me, honestly."

Barford said that with a smile, but the Bison struggled to stop him much of the game.

"I know he had 21 points in the first half, but on some of those shots I thought we did a really good job (on defense) and they just went in," Bucknell Coach Nathan Davis said. "So give him credit for being a player that stepped up and made plays."

Macon, who scored 21 points, playfully asked Barford in the postgame interviews why he wore No. 1 in high school.

"Because I was the No. 1 dude," Barford said with a laugh. "You know what I'm talking about?"

Barford played 28 minutes on Sunday after scoring 16 points in 29 minutes in the Razorbacks' 95-56 season-opening victory over Samford on Friday night.

"He was really efficient with 27 points in 28 minutes," Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson said. "That tells me he played well. I thought he was engaged defensively, and offensively he's shown the capacity to do that. He can just kind of take over a game.

"It says something about our team that they trust him and get the ball to him at the right time. He's not a ball hog. Every now and then he's going to throw one up there where I look at him like he's crazy. Same way with Daryl. They're going to do that.

"But I guess that's why they want to play for me, because I'll give them a little free pass every now and then."

Barford hit 2 of 3 three-pointers on Sunday and is 4 of 8 in the first two games after shooting 26.6 percent (29 of 109) last season.

"It's really just putting the time in," Barford said. "Working every day, shooting after practice."

Davis said he was impressed by Barford's three-point shooting.

"He looked like a confident kid today," Davis said.

Freshman center Daniel Gafford had 15 points in 17 minutes for the Razorbacks (2-0) before fouling out with 2:41 left. He hit 5 of 7 shots and 5 of 5 free throws.

Arkansas senior guard Anton Beard scored 11 points, senior forward Trey Thompson had 11 rebounds and sophomores Adrio Bailey and C.J. Jones each scored 7 points.

Senior forward Alex Thomas led Bucknell (0-2) with 24 points and 10 rebounds.

Arkansas guard Jonathan Holmes, a sophomore walk-on, put an exclamation point on the Razorbacks' victory by hitting a three-point basket with 19 seconds left.

After the game ended, the Razorbacks rushed onto the court and mobbed Holmes. Anderson said the players reaction to Holmes' basket summed up his team.

"They're there for each other," Anderson said. "It doesn't matter if it's the first guy off the bench or the last guy off the bench. They're really out there cheering and rooting for one another.

"This is a true team right now. They've got a brotherhood, and that's special."

Barford came out of the game for good with 4:52 to play and Anderson said he didn't consider putting him back in to try to score 30 points.

Anderson joked that if Barford wanted to score 30, he shouldn't have gone 5 of 9 from the free-throw line.

Barford said he never thought about scoring 30 points.

"I was just playing my game," he said. "Playing within the system. Just really trying to win and execute everything we could. I was playing off my teammates and they were feeding off me."

Barford said he was fine with Anderson taking him out with nearly five minutes to play.

"It doesn't make any difference to me," he said about missing the chance to score 30 points. "I like to see the young guys play.

"We've got 29 (regular-season) games left, so let's see what 29 games bring."

Game sketch

RECORDS Arkansas 2-0; Bucknell 0-2 STARS Arkansas senior guards Jaylen Barford (27 points, 5 rebounds) and Daryl Macon (21 points, 4 assists). Bucknell senior forward Zach Thomas (24 points, 10 rebounds)

TURNING POINT The Razorbacks outscored the Bison 22-8 in the final 5:08 of the first half, including a three-point basket with one second left by Macon, to take a 56-34 halftime lead.

KEY STAT Arkansas shot 53.5 percent (38 of 71) from the field.

UP NEXT Arkansas plays Fresno State at 7 p.m. Friday in Walton Arena.

— Bob Holt

SOUTHLAND MEN

CENTRAL ARKANSAS 99,

UNIVERSITY OF THE OZARKS 51

Howard Jordan scored 24 points to lead four University of Central Arkansas (1-1) players with at least 10 points in a victory over the University of the Ozarks on Sunday at the Farris Center in Conway.

Jordan made 10 of 13 shots from the floor including 2 of 4 three-pointers. Hayden Koval finished with 12 points while Deandre Jones and Mathiew Kamba both finished with 10.

SWAC MEN

TROY 81,

ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF 57

Wesley Person scored 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting, including 4-of-7 three-pointers in lifting Troy to a victory over the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff in Honolulu on Sunday.

Sports on 11/13/2017

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