Macon, Barford pace Arkansas to opening win over Samford
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) —
Daryl Macon and Jaylen Barford scored 16 points each to lead six players in double figures as Arkansas rolled to a season-opening 95-56 win over Samford on Friday night.
The win comes on the heels of the Razorbacks reaching the NCAA Tournament for a second time in three years last season, and it's the 23rd straight year they have won their opening game of the season.
Arkansas led by as many as 30 points in the first half on its way to the convincing win, and sophomore Adrio Bailey finished with a career-best 15 points. Anton Beard added 14 for the Razorbacks, while C.J. Jones and freshman Daniel Gafford had 10 each.
Alex Thompson scored 10 points to lead the Bulldogs, who had 19 turnovers that led to 35 Arkansas points. Samford shot just 32.8 percent (20 of 61), while the Razorbacks finished 36 of 63 (57.1 percent) from the field.
Samford: The Bulldogs finished 20-16 last season and were picked to finish second in the Southern Conference this year. Samford also returned 12 of its 13 players from a year ago, but it had no answer defensively for the Razorbacks — who hit 18 of 30 shots (60 percent) in the first half and led by as many as 44 points at 71-27 midway through the second half.
Arkansas: The Razorbacks played without suspended forwards Arlando Cook and Dustin Thomas on Friday night. Cook is out after an offseason arrest, while Thomas missed the game because of a violation of team rules. The lack of size and experience didn't hamper Arkansas, which had 28 assists on its 36 baskets — with Macon leading the way with a career-best eight assists.
Samford hosts Alabama A&M on Monday.
The Razorbacks have a quick turnaround before hosting preseason Patriot League favorite Bucknell on Sunday.