FAYETTEVILLE – Mason Jones tied his career-high with 21 points while Daniel Gafford recorded his fifth double-double, getting 19 points and 10 rebounds, to lead the Razorbacks (8-3) to a 73-70 victory over Texas State (10-2) Saturday afternoon at Bud Walton Arena.
It marked the second straight game Jones has led the team in both scoring and assists, finishing with four helpers. Jones additionally had a career-high three steals and scored 10 of his 21 points at the free throw line. Gabe Osabuohien also had four assists, which is a career high. Isaiah Joe, who was 7-of-8 at the free throw line, and Jalen Harris each scored 10 points.
The Bobcats opened the game by taking a 19-3 lead. The Razorbacks held Texas State scoreless for the next 5:20 during on a 17-0 run. Gafford had a dunk and free throw to tie the game, 19-19, and Osabuohien gave Arkansas its first lead, 20-19, with a free throw at the 7:13 mark. Arkansas did not trail the remainder of the game, including a 34-27 lead at halftime.
Texas State would tie the game, 38-38, on a Nijal Pearson 3-pointer with 14:0 left in the game. However, Gafford answered with a dunk to regain the lead and hold on the rest of the way. The Bobcats got to within two, 53-51, before Jones converted an old-fashion 3-point play to go up five with 5:13 left in the game. Including that free throw, Arkansas made 15-of-19 at the free throw line.
Arkansas will close the 2018 calendar year by hosting Austin Peay on Dec. 28 (Fri.) in Bud Walton Arena. Tip-off is set for 7 pm.
FIRST HALF: Arkansas 34 – Texas State 27
- Texas State got off to a quick start, but the Razorbacks held the Bobcats scoreless for 4:49. However, Arkansas had its troubles on the offensive end as well and the score stayed at 8-6 for over two minutes. The Bobcats drought ended with two free throws by Alonzo Sule with 13:05 left, which sparked an 11-0 run and 19-6 Texas State lead.
- The Razorback defense stepped up again, holding the Bobcats scoreless for 5:20 while Arkansas went on a 17-0 run. Gabe Osabuohien played a key role on both ends, including his second career 3-pointer. Arkansas tied the game, 19-19 on a Daniel Gafford dunk and free throw with 7:43 left. Osabuohien gave Arkansas its first lead, 20-19, on a free throw. Mason Jones capped the run with a 3-pointer.
- Overall, Arkansas went on a 21-2 run while holding the Bobcats scoreless for a combined 10:09 over two spans.
- Mason Jones and Daniel Gafford led the Razorbacks with 11 points each. Jones made 4-of-5 from the field. Gafford added six rebounds.
- Gabe Osabuohien finished the half with four points, three rebounds, two assists, a steal and a charge taken.
SECOND HALF: Arkansas was 20-of-26 at the free throw line in the second half to secure the win.
- Texas State tied the game, 38-38, on a 3-pointer. Daniel Gafford answered with a dunk and the Razorbacks never relinquished the lead.
- Up two, 53-51, Arkansas’ Mason Jones converted an old-fashion 3-point play to go up five with 5:13 left in the game. Including that free throw, Arkansas made 15-of-19 at the free throw line.
- Arkansas’ starters were Isaiah Joe (G) – Jalen Harris (G) – Mason Jones (G) – Reggie Chaney (F) – Daniel Gafford (F). Chaney earned his first career start and this was the first time Arkansas used a different starting lineup this season.
- Arkansas controlled the tip, but Texas State’s Jaylen Harris scored the first points at 19:33. Jalen Harris scored the points for the Razorbacks, a floater on the right side at the 18:56 mark.
- This was the fourth meeting between Arkansas and Texas State. The Razorbacks won the previous three meetings.
- Arkansas snapped a two-game home losing streak with the win Saturday. Arkansas has not lost three straight at home since dropping the final three home games of the 2011-12 season versus Florida (Feb. 18), Alabama (Feb. 23) and Ole Miss (Feb. 28).
- Arkansas has won 11 straight in its final game before Christmas and is 15-4 in such games since 2000.
- Daniel Gafford recorded his fifth double-double of the season and eighth of his career.
- Isaiah Joe only made one field goal – a key 3-pointer late – but was 7-of-8 at the free throw line down the stretch to score 10 points.
- Isaiah Joe (10 points) and Daniel Gafford (19 points) are the only Razorbacks to score in double figures in all 11 games this season.
For more information on Arkansas Men’s Basketball, follow @RazorbackMBB on Twitter.