Macon, Hannahs’ second half surge leads Arkansas over Bison
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Daryl Macon wasted little time making his presence felt Tuesday night against North Dakota State.
One of Mike Anderson’s prized junior college recruits, Macon followed up a 23-point performance last Saturday against Texas with a team-high 15 points, knocking down three 3-pointers as Arkansas won its seventh straight game, 71-55.
Macon was one of four Razorbacks in double figures along with Anton Beard, Moses Kingsley and Dusty Hannahs, who each added 11.
Over his last four games, Macon is averaging 17 points after a two-game stretch in which he totaled just 15 points against Stephen F. Austin and Austin Peay. Tuesday was the second game in that span he has connected on three 3-pointers.
“I thought he played better in the second half,” Anderson said. ”... He has all the quickness, all the ability. It’s a matter of him getting more consistent and I think you can see him getting more comfortable on the floor. When you’ve got a guy like him, and a guy like Dusty Hannahs you can stretch the floor.”
Hannahs has been Arkansas’ most consistent offensive piece throughout the season, leading the Razorbacks in scoring at 16.2.
The duo sparked a 16-0 second half run with a trio of 3-pointers between them after North Dakota State knotted the score at 29 early in the second half. It was Arkansas’ 12th run of at least 10-0 of the season.
“I think that was the biggest run of the game,” Macon said. “Our defense, we had to get stops. One thing we stressed at halftime was that we’ve got to get transition buckets and what we try to do is lead the country is fastbreak points, and that’s what we tried to do in the second half.”
Arkansas held North Dakota State scoreless for more than four minutes early in the second half, and Arkansas’ lead grew to 20 late in the game. The Razorbacks scored just five fastbreak points, but held the Bison to 33 percent shooting for the game.
NDSU’s Paul Miller led all scorers with 17 points on 4 of 10 shooting. Tyson Ward added 10.
“They speed you up, and speed you up mentally more than anything,” North Dakota State coach David Richman said. “Good teams make you pay for your mistakes.”
North Dakota State: The Bison hung with Arkansas for a half, but did not have the fresh bodies to keep up with the deep, athletic Razorbacks. NDSU will depend on guard Miller for scoring in Summit League action, but a secondary option must arise.
Arkansas: The Razorbacks got off to their best 10-game start in the Mike Anderson era and close out non-conference play Thursday. Arkansas’ Southeastern Conference opener against Florida Dec. 29 in Bud Walton Arena will provide a look into what the Razorbacks’ potential in the league can be.
Each of Arkansas’ three Little Rock natives — Macon, Hannahs and Beard — knocked down three 3-pointers and scored in double figures in the win.
North Dakota State travels to South Dakota State Dec. 28.
Arkansas closes out the non-conference portion of its schedule Thursday against Sam Houston State (9-3) in Verizon Arena in Little Rock. Arkansas lost to Mercer in overtime last season in Little Rock.