FAYETTEVILLE - Arkansas built up a big lead much of the game, but then had to hang on and hit some free throws down the stretch to take an 83-75 victory over Fresno State in Bud Walton Arena before 12,227 fans.
The Razorbacks' largest lead of the game came with 10:32 remaining when true freshman Daniel Gafford dunked for a 57-38 advantage. Gafford didn't foul out for the first time in his three collegiate games and proved to be the difference in this game. The former El Dorado blue chip recruit led the Hogs with 25 points, eight rebounds, three blocks and two steals in 30 minutes. He finished the game with just three fouls. He was 9 of 11 from the field.
Fresno State cut the lead to single digit, 74-65, with two minutes remaining. Gafford came up big at the free throw line hitting 7 of 10 at the charity stripe in the game. The closest the Bulldogs could get to the Hogs was six points, 81-75, but that came with only six seconds remaining on the clock.
Arkansas led 39-25 at intermission. The Razorbacks got another big game from its three senior guards as well. Jaylen Barford had 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Anton Beard followed with 15 points, three rebounds, three assists and a steal. Daryl Macon had 11 points, two rebounds, an assist, steal and block. Adrio Bailey had five points, five rebounds, three assists and two blocks.
The Razorbacks forced 16 turnovers in the game and scored 20 points off those. The Bulldogs won the rebounding battle 40-33. Arkansas shot 48 percent from the field, but only made 29 percent of its 3-point attempts. Fresno State hit 46 percent the field and 38 from long distance.
Bryson Williams led Fresno State with 22 points while adding nine rebounds. Deshon Taylor had 19 points while Jahmel Taylor added 12. Jaron Hopkins had nine points, 10 rebounds and five assists as well.
Arkansas (3-0) will play Oklahoma on Wednesday at 4 p.m. CT in the Phil Knight Invitational in Portland, Oreg. The game will be televised on ESPN2. With the loss, Fresno State (2-1) suffered its first loss of the season. They will play host to Evansville on Tuesday night.