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Barford leads dominant Arkansas past No. 21 Texas A&M, 94-75

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) Daniel Gafford capped off the most difficult stretch of his young Southeastern Conference career with a disappointing and foul-plagued performance the last time Arkansas faced Texas A&M.

The standout Razorbacks forward remembered that game all too well, and it showed as he added yet another dominating effort to his remarkable freshman season on Saturday.

Gafford scored 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting to lead Arkansas (19-8, 8-6 SEC) to its fourth straight win, 94-75 over the No. 21 Aggies. It was the fifth straight game in double figures for Gafford, who is shooting 70.7 percent (29 of 41) since the 80-66 loss to Texas A&M on Jan. 30.

The 6-foot-11 freshman was on a mission to atone for that loss, and it showed as he hit his first five shots and punctuated the dominating win with a late dunk.

''Playing them here, in my mind I had to play smarter and more physical,'' Gafford said. ''Because in my mind, I was ready for them. I was ready for Tyler Davis, I was ready for pretty much all the big men because pretty much I got punked when we went up to Texas A&M, and I didn't want that to happen tonight.''

Gafford had plenty of help from his teammates, with Jaylen Barford scoring 14 of his 21 points in the second half and adding five rebounds and five assists for the surging Razorbacks.

Also, Daryl Macon finished with 20 points for an Arkansas team that's won seven of its last nine. It was the eighth time in the last nine games Macon has scored 20 or more. C.J. Jones had 13 points off the bench.

Robert Williams had 20 points and 14 rebounds to lead Texas A&M (17-10, 6-8), which lost its second straight after entering the rankings this week. The 6-foot-10 sophomore also had three blocks and finished 10 of 13 from the field.

Admon Gilder also scored 20 points for the Aggies, while Davis added 15 points and T.J. Starks had 12. However, Texas A&M was unable to slow down an Arkansas team that shot 49.3 percent (35 of 71) from the field and hit 10 of 23 3-pointers.

''There's not many teams going to come in here and beat Arkansas when they shoot the ball like they did today,'' Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy said. ''I thought they shot the ball extremely well and made some tough shots.''

REBOUNDING RAZORBACKS

Texas A&M entered the game 3rd nationally and tops in the SEC in rebounding with an average of 41.9 per game. The Aggies also outrebounded Arkansas 45-30 in their win last month, but the Razorbacks turned the tables on Saturday - finishing with a 45-33 edge on the glass.

Freshman Darious Hall followed up his career-best 11-rebound effort in a win over Mississippi earlier in the week with seven rebounds in only 17 minutes on Saturday, and Gafford and senior Trey Thompson had six rebounds apiece.

''This is a team that beat us by 15 at their place, and they're one of the better rebounding teams in the country with all that size,'' Arkansas coach Mike Anderson said. ''Somehow we found the energy. We found the players that were really engaged and going to get those rebounds.''

BIG PICTURE

Texas A&M: The last time the Aggies won in Fayetteville was March 1, 1986, when both teams were members of the Southwest Conference and Arkansas still played in Barnhill Arena. They led only once on Saturday, a 4-2 advantage that disappeared quickly after the Razorbacks went on an 11-0 run. Texas A&M was 0 of 7 on 3-pointers while trailing 43-32 at halftime, and it just avoided matching its season low for 3-pointers - finishing 4 of 17 as a team.

Arkansas: The win starts a difficult five-game stretch to end the regular season for Arkansas, which entered Saturday 32nd in the NCAA's RPI ratings. Beginning with the 18th-rated Aggies, the Razorbacks face teams all 31st or higher in the ratings during the five games - including Kentucky, Alabama, Auburn and Missouri. They started the stretch in dominating fashion on Saturday, a key victory for a team hoping to reach the NCAA Tournament for a third time in four seasons this year.

UP NEXT

Texas A&M returns home to face Mississippi State on Tuesday.

The Razorbacks host Kentucky on Tuesday.

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Key Players
D. Hogg
D. Macon
31.1 Min. Per Game 31.1
16.9 Pts. Per Game 16.9
4.1 Ast. Per Game 4.1
2.8 Reb. Per Game 2.8
42.1 Field Goal % 45.6
39.0 Three Point % 43.4
73.5 Free Throw % 87.8
  Defensive rebound by Darious Hall 21.0
  Savion Flagg missed 3-pt. jump shot 23.0
+ 1 Darious Hall made 2nd of 2 free throws 39.0
+ 1 Darious Hall made 1st of 2 free throws 39.0
  Shooting foul on Jay Jay Chandler 39.0
  Offensive rebound by Darious Hall 39.0
  Jonathan Holmes missed finger-roll layup 41.0
  Offensive rebound by Arkansas 58.0
  Gabe Osabuohien missed 3-pt. jump shot 59.0
  Offensive rebound by Arkansas 1:03
  Anton Beard missed driving layup, blocked by Isiah Jasey 1:03
Team Stats
Points 75 94
Field Goals 24-55 (43.6%) 35-71 (49.3%)
3-Pointers 4-17 (23.5%) 10-23 (43.5%)
Free Throws 23-35 (65.7%) 14-22 (63.6%)
Total Rebounds 33 45
Offensive 12 13
Defensive 18 24
Team 3 8
Assists 13 17
Steals 6 5
Blocks 7 3
Turnovers 13 9
Fouls 17 26
Technicals 0 0
20 PTS, 3 REB, 2 AST
21 PTS, 5 REB, 5 AST
12T
away team logo 21 Texas A&M 17-10 324375
home team logo Arkansas 19-8 435194
Team Stats
away team logo 21 Texas A&M 17-10 72.8 PPG 41.6 RPG 12.7 APG
home team logo Arkansas 19-8 79.3 PPG 41.6 RPG 17.3 APG
Key Players
00
R. Williams F PPG RPG APG FG%
00
J. Barford G PPG RPG APG FG%
Top Scorers
R. Williams F 20 PTS 14 REB 1 AST
J. Barford G 21 PTS 5 REB 5 AST
43.6 FG% 49.3
23.5 3PT FG% 43.5
65.7 FT% 63.6
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
A. Gilder 20 3 2 6/10 2/3 6/7 3 30 3 0 0 0 3
R. Williams 20 14 1 10/13 0/0 0/1 1 32 0 3 1 4 10
T. Davis 15 7 4 2/5 0/0 11/17 3 28 0 1 2 6 1
T. Starks 12 0 2 4/9 0/2 4/6 3 24 0 0 5 0 0
D. Hogg 0 1 3 0/6 0/5 0/0 2 30 3 0 2 1 0
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
A. Gilder 20 3 2 6/10 2/3 6/7 3 30 3 0 0 0 3
R. Williams 20 14 1 10/13 0/0 0/1 1 32 0 3 1 4 10
T. Davis 15 7 4 2/5 0/0 11/17 3 28 0 1 2 6 1
T. Starks 12 0 2 4/9 0/2 4/6 3 24 0 0 5 0 0
D. Hogg 0 1 3 0/6 0/5 0/0 2 30 3 0 2 1 0
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
C. Collins 3 2 0 1/1 1/1 0/0 1 12 0 0 0 0 2
S. Flagg 3 1 0 1/7 1/4 0/0 1 20 0 0 1 0 1
T. Trocha-Morelos 2 1 1 0/2 0/2 2/4 2 17 0 2 1 1 0
J. Chandler 0 0 0 0/1 0/0 0/0 1 3 0 0 1 0 0
I. Jasey 0 1 0 0/1 0/0 0/0 0 4 0 1 0 0 1
D. Wilson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
F. Byers - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Caldwell - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. French - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Alo - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Walker III - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 75 30 13 24/55 4/17 23/35 17 200 6 7 13 12 18
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Barford 21 5 5 7/18 4/10 3/4 4 32 1 0 1 2 3
D. Macon 20 3 3 7/12 4/6 2/2 2 24 0 0 1 1 2
D. Gafford 18 6 2 7/8 0/0 4/6 4 28 1 2 2 4 2
D. Thomas 7 3 0 3/4 0/0 1/2 4 19 1 0 2 0 3
A. Beard 5 1 5 2/8 1/3 0/2 1 27 0 0 1 0 1
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Barford 21 5 5 7/18 4/10 3/4 4 32 1 0 1 2 3
D. Macon 20 3 3 7/12 4/6 2/2 2 24 0 0 1 1 2
D. Gafford 18 6 2 7/8 0/0 4/6 4 28 1 2 2 4 2
D. Thomas 7 3 0 3/4 0/0 1/2 4 19 1 0 2 0 3
A. Beard 5 1 5 2/8 1/3 0/2 1 27 0 0 1 0 1
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
C. Jones 13 2 0 5/7 1/2 2/3 1 18 1 0 0 1 1
G. Osabuohien 6 3 1 3/6 0/1 0/1 3 15 1 1 1 1 2
T. Thompson 2 6 0 1/5 0/0 0/0 2 15 0 0 0 3 3
D. Hall 2 7 1 0/2 0/1 2/2 3 17 0 0 0 1 6
A. Bailey 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
A. Cook 0 1 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 1 2 0 0 1 0 1
J. Holmes 0 0 0 0/1 0/0 0/0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
K. Garland - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Plummer - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 94 37 17 35/71 10/23 14/22 26 200 5 3 9 13 24