Macon, Arkansas hold off Alabama comeback try

Posted: February 24, 2018 at 4:53 p.m.

Arkansas coach Mike Anderson works with guard Daryl Macon (4) during the first half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Alabama on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (Vasha Hunt/ via AP)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Daryl Macon scored 17 points and made two free throws with 12 seconds left, lifting Arkansas to a 76-73 victory over Alabama on Saturday night.

The Razorbacks (20-9, 9-7 Southeastern Conference) took control with nine straight points for a 65-57 lead with four minutes left, then withstood a challenge.

The Crimson Tide (17-12, 8-8) trailed almost the entire way and dropped its third straight game.

Dustin Thomas made two foul shots for the Razorbacks with 32 seconds left. Collin Sexton answered with a drive but missed a chance at a 3-point play, and Macon missed the front end of a one-and-one. He'd get another chance.

Sexton drove and dished to center Donta Hall, who drew a foul but missed two free throws.

The Tide quickly fouled Macon, who converted both attempts this time. John Petty's 3-pointer from the right corner with three seconds left gave Alabama another chance.

Anton Beard made the first of two foul shots and Sexton's half-court attempt at the buzzer bounced off the glass.

C.J. Jones, who is from nearby Birmingham, scored 13 for Arkansas. Daniel Gafford and Thomas each had 11 points and Jaylen Barford 10.

Braxton Key started for Alabama after coming off the bench the past six games and scored 16.

Sexton scored 15 points and had six assists a day after he was one of the high-profile college players named in a Yahoo Sports report for allegedly receiving improper benefits. The former five-star recruit was among those cited in federal documents for potential violations involving meals with an agent.

He was held out of Alabama's opener before being reinstated by the NCAA.

Petty scored 14 on 4-of-6 3-point shooting and Dazon Ingram added 13.


Arkansas: Has won five of its last six games and rebounded from an 87-72 loss to Kentucky. Helped its NCAA Tournament case with the road win.

Alabama: Couldn't change its recent fortunes upon returning to Coleman Coliseum after double-digit road losses to Kentucky (81-71) and No. 12 Auburn (90-71).


Arkansas hosts No. 12 Auburn on Tuesday night.

Alabama hosts Florida on Tuesday night.


Arkansas 76, Alabama 73 - Final

The Razorbacks grab win No. 20 on the season and No. 3 on the road in conference play. Daryl Macon led Arkansas with 17 points and C.J. Jones' 13 proved to be huge.

Dustin Thomas was vital in the second half, scoring a team-high nine points after the break. Adrio Bailey added seven points as well. Arkansas finished with a 22-11 advantage in bench points.

Braxton Key led Alabama with 16 points and Collin Sexton added 15 on 9 of 13 at the line.

ESPN BPI gives Arkansas a 97 percent chance to make the NCAA Tournament following the win.

Arkansas 67, Alabama 59 - 3:21 left

The Razorbacks are on the verge of a huge road win entering the final stretch of play. Daniel Gafford just flushed an Arkansas miss, forcing an Avery Johnson timeout.

Arkansas' defense has been great over the last 8-9 minutes. Alabama is 1 of 7 from the floor since Braxton Key got a layup to fall with more than 11 minutes to play and Collin Sexton has just three points - all at the line - on 0 of 3 from the floor since the break.

Arkansas 56, Alabama 53 - 7:44 left

Adrio Bailey is on a personal 7-0 run to give Arkansas a lead at the under-8 timeout. Bailey has provided some valuable minutes today, and it's all coming after playing just two minutes since the South Carolina game on Feb. 6.

C.J. Jones has been hit with Arkansas' second Flagrant 1 foul on Dazon Ingram. Alabama will shoot free throws and get the ball back. Big possession upcoming for the Arkansas defense.

Alabama 51, Arkansas 49 - 10:42 left

The pace really picked up just before the media timeout, and it hasn't always pretty but C.J. Jones and Daryl Macon are keeping the Hogs in this one.

Jones has 13 points to lead Arkansas on 3 of 3 from deep to go with a pair of midrange jumpers. Anton Beard fouled John Petty just before the break on a lob attempt and he'll be at the line when play resumes.

Alabama 41, Arkansas 37 - 15:51 left

Alabama has made 4 of 6 shots to open the second half, including a pair of 3s. Braxton Key has seven since the break and seven of the Crimson Tide's last 10.

Meanwhile, Arkansas is 0 of 6 from the floor and getting nothing easy on the offensive end. The Alabama bigs have done a good job limiting Daniel Gafford at the rim. He and Dustin Thomas have the only points of the half so far from the free throw line.

Alabama is on a 16-2 run dating back to the 1:54 mark of the first half.

Arkansas 35, Alabama 31 - Half

Daryl Macon leads Arkansas with nine points on 3 of 6 from the floor to go with two assists and C.J. Jones has eight, breaking out of a bit of a shooting slump, particularly from deep.

Alabama closed the half on a 6-0 run after falling behind by 10 following Jones' jumper with under two to play before the break. Arkansas has won 36 consecutive games when leading at the half.

Collin Sexton leads Alabama with seven points.

Arkansas 30, Alabama 23 - 3:00 left first half

Daryl Macon has been pretty fantastic today scoring at the rim and finding teammates for looks. His last attack of the rim resulted in a layup and the foul. He'll be at the line when play resumes. He has eight points to lead all scorers.

C.J. Jones has been a huge lift for Arkansas. He's 2 of 2 from deep for six points to this point. Macon found him with a no-look pass for his last 3.

Arkansas has done a solid job defensively through 16+ minutes. The Crimson Tide are shooting just 38 percent.

Arkansas 19, Alabama 16 - 8:00 left first half

Arlando Cook was hit with a Flagrant 1 foul on Alabama's Dazon Ingram. Ingram then hit 1 of 2 at the line to tie the game at 16.

Anton Beard came back down and ended a scoring drought of better than four minutes with a 3 for his first bucket of the night. Adrio Bailey has entered the game. He's played only two minutes since Arkansas' win over South Carolina.

Arkansas 16, Alabama 12 - 11:55 left first half

Daryl Macon and C.J. Jones have buckets since the last media timeout. Macon scored on a nice backdoor feed from Trey Thompson and Jones knocked down a 3 from the right wing.

Alabama's offense is picking up a bit. Collin Sexton has five points on 3 of 4 at the line.

Arkansas 11, Alabama 4 - 15:01 left first half

The Razorbacks opened the game on a 7-0 run behind five points from Jaylen Barford and a bucket from Dustin Thomas. Thomas, as he did against Kentucky on Tuesday, got off to a good start but had to sit with two early fouls.

Daniel Gafford also has a dunk, Arkansas' 100th of the season. Gafford has four point so far. Gabe Osabuohien was the first off the bench. He missed a shot, turned the ball over and committed a foul in two minutes.

Alabama opened the night 1 of 4 from the floor and 0 of 3 from distance with three turnovers.


Arkansas will start Jaylen Barford, Anton Beard, Daryl Macon, Dustin Thomas and Daniel Gafford.

Alabama begins the night with Collin Sexton, Braxton Key, John Petty, Dazon Ingram and Donta Hall.

Coleman Coliseum is sold out for tonight's game, marking the fifth home sellout of the year for the Crimson Tide.35