Macon's late 3s power Arkansas past Georgia, 80-77 in 2 OTs
By CHARLES ODUM
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) Daryl Macon wouldn't be stopped by a scoreless first half.
There would still be plenty of time for Macon to make his impact.
Macon overcame his slow start to sink three 3-pointers in the second overtime and score 25 points, lifting Arkansas to an 80-77 win over Georgia on Tuesday night.
"He was great," said Jaylen Barford of Macon. "He told me at one point `I'm coming.' I was like `All right, let's get it.' He started hitting a lot of shots. That's a scorer for you."
Barford added 24 points for Arkansas (14-6, 4-4 Southeastern Conference), which rallied after trailing by 16 points in the first half. It was the first road win of the season for the Razorbacks.
Each of Macon's 3s in the second overtime gave Arkansas the lead. He said he was encouraged by coach Mike Anderson to keep shooting.
"One thing coach kept telling me was `Don't run from the big moment,'" Macon said. "I couldn't run from it. I just had to keep pushing it so I could be there for my team."
Macon sometimes had to shoot over tight defense.
"He has a really good shot," said Georgia's Yante Maten. "We were playing pretty good defense on him. Tight. I know he hit one on me, too. ... Once he got hot, it was hard to stop him."
The final 3 gave Arkansas a 78-76 lead. After Maten made one of two free throws, Macon padded the lead with two free throws with 1.2 seconds remaining.
Georgia coach Mark Fox said he told his players "in competition ... you have to risk the agony of defeat and tonight we really feel that."
Maten, who led Georgia (12-7, 3-5) with 26 points, had a shot blocked under the basket by Trey Thompson with 2 seconds remaining in the second overtime.
Macon's second 3-pointer of the second overtime gave the Razorbacks a 75-73 lead. William "Turtle" Jackson answered with a go-ahead 3 for Georgia before Macon sank another 3.
Anton Beard's jumper with 28 seconds remaining in regulation gave the Razorbacks a 63-61 lead before two free throws by Jordan Harris forced the first overtime.
Georgia's Nicolas Claxton blocked a shot by Barford to leave the first overtime tied at 69.
Macon made 5 of 10 3s overall.
Arkansas: They had been 0-4 in true road games, including 0-3 in the SEC. Arkansas took gambles on defense and pressured Georgia's ball-handler in attempts to create turnovers. The strategy sometimes left shooters open, especially early in the first half. ... Daniel Gafford, the 6-foot-11 freshman, was scoreless in 27 minutes.
Georgia: The Bulldogs have damaged their NCAA Tournament hopes by losing four of five, including two straight home conference games against unranked teams - South Carolina and Arkansas. "This game came down to one play at the end and we have to regroup and get focused on the next one," Fox said. The Bulldogs needed a win over Arkansas, with a No. 32 RPI, to boost their NCAA hopes.
SHOWDOWN OF TOP SCORERS
Maten, the SEC scoring leader, won the scoring showdown with Barford, who is third overall and the SEC's top scorer in league games. Barford, who recorded his third straight game with at least 23 points, opened the second half with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer.
Arkansas shooters struggled early, making only 3 of their first 17 shots as Georgia used a 9-0 run to lead 24-9. Georgia led 29-13 before being outscored 15-4 and making only one shot from the field in the final six minutes of the half.
Arkansas: Hosts Oklahoma State on Saturday.
Georgia: at Kansas State on Saturday.
More AP college basketball: http://collegebasketball.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-Top25
Updated January 23, 2018