Fayetteville, Ark. — Jaylen Barford was still learning what major college basketball was all about a year ago as a first-year junior college transfer when Arkansas went to Minnesota and lost by 14 points.
This time around, the Razorbacks senior had a clear idea of how to attack the 14th-ranked Golden Gophers — and he had plenty of help along the way.
Led by Barford’s 22 points, Arkansas (7-2) returned the favor from last year’s loss with a 95-79 victory over Minnesota on Saturday night. It did so while continuing what’s been nothing short of an offensive onslaught in Bud Walton Arena to open the season, raising its home scoring average to 93.2 points per game with the win.
Barford entered the game second in the Southeastern Conference in scoring at 19.6 points per game, and he finished 9 of 15 from the field — adding four rebounds and four assists. The 6-foot-3 senior also hit two 3-pointers and had a block while making amends for last year.
“I think it was just having the experience and maturity level of our game, and just taking our time and being more poised this year,” Barford said. “Last year was our first road game, and (we thought) things were going to be a cakewalk, and it wasn’t.”
While Barford brought plenty of experience to the court, Arkansas’ newest rising star fared just well while making the first start of his career.
Freshman Daniel Gafford had 16 points on 8-of-8 shooting, and the 6-foot-11 forward added seven rebounds and six blocks while facing a talented Minnesota (8-3) front line. He did so in only 21 minutes and helped the Razorbacks hit 39 of 68 shots (57.4 percent) for the game.
During one second-half possession, Gafford swatted two straight shots by the Gophers and added to his growing highlight with three dunks — bringing his season total to 21 in nine games.
“If he works hard and he’s a good kid, (Gafford) could be a first-round pick,” Minnesota coach Richard Pitino said.
The loss is the third in the last four games for the Golden Gophers, who lost earlier in the week at Nebraska . Jordan Murphy led Minnesota with 20 points and 10 rebounds, Amir Coffey had 18 points and Nate Mason 17 in the loss.
The Gophers shot 41 percent (25 of 61) in their first road game against an SEC opponent since a loss at Georgia in 2001.
(At) Ohio State 97, William & Mary 62: Keita Bates-Diop scored a career-high 27 points to lead Ohio State. The Buckeyes (8-3) shot 65 percent from the field and made 11-of-21 3-point shots while dishing out a season-high 19 assists. Ohio State made 10 straight shots early in the second half and went on a 16-0 run to lead by 40 with four minutes remaining.
David Cohn and Nathan Knight led the way for the Tribe (6-3) with 15 and 13 points, respectively.
Marquette 82, (at) Wisconsin 63: Andrew Rowsey scored 24 points on 5-of-6 shooting from 3-point range, Markus Howard added 23 points, and the Golden Eagles’ high-scoring backcourt duo played through foul trouble to claim the school’s second straight road win in a series marking its 100th anniversary.
A 14-4 run highlighted by 10 points from Rowsey over a 3-plus minute span of the second half turned a five-point lead into a 60-46 advantage with 12:04 left for Marquette (7-3), which led comfortably most of the rest of the way at the Kohl Center.
Brad Davison scored 20 points for the Badgers (4-7), while Ethan Happ added 17 on 8-of-15 shooting.
(At) Maryland 82, Gardner-Webb 60: Freshman Darryl Morsell scored a career-high 18 points, Kevin Huerter added 15 and Maryland used a balanced attack. The Terrapins (9-3) placed four players in double figures and had 21 assists, one short of matching their season high.
Maryland was playing its second game in three days and was without forwards Justin Jackson (illness) and Bruno Fernando (ankle sprain).
If this was a Big Ten game, that might have been a problem. Against Gardner-Webb, it was not.
Michal Cekovsky had 12 points, Anthony Cowan Jr. contributed 10 and 6-foot-9 freshman forward Joshua Tomaic had nine points and six rebounds. Tomaic played 16 minutes after logging a total of 17 in Maryland’s first 11 games.
Maryland’s bench outscored Gardner-Webb’s reserves 33-8.
DJ Laster scored 21 and David Efianayi had 18 for the Runnin’ Bulldogs (3-8), who faded after getting within 12 points with 11 minutes to go.
(At) Louisville 71, Indiana 62: Deng Adel scored 16 points, including a key jumper with 41 seconds remaining, and Dwayne Sutton followed with a layup off a steal 12 seconds later. The visiting Hoosiers got within 65-62 with 58.2 seconds left on De’ron Davis’ free throw, but Adel soon answered with a jumper as the shot clock wound down to make it a five-point game. Ryan McMahon then stole the ball and fed Sutton on the break for a layup to make it 69-62, and Quentin Snider (13 points) added two free throws with 16 seconds left to seal the Cardinals’ second straight win.
Adel shot just 6 of 15 from the field but made consecutive 3-pointers coming out of halftime to put Louisville (6-2) ahead in a half it shot just 42 percent. But the Cardinals made critical shots to keep the Hoosiers (5-5) at bay.
(At) Creighton 75, Nebraska 65: Marcus Foster scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half, and Creighton won its seventh straight over the Cornhuskers. Foster, held to 1-of-5 shooting in the first half, hit a 3-pointer from the wing with 46 seconds to play to put the Bluejays (8-2) up 69-63.
Mitch Ballock had 11 of his 13 points in the second, Ronnie Harrell Jr. finished with 12 and Khyri Thomas added 11 for Creighton.
Isaac Copeland had a double-double with 20 points and a career-high 11 rebounds for Nebraska (7-4). The Huskers got 16 points from James Palmer Jr., and 10 from Isaiah Roby. Glynn Watson had eight points and five assists before fouling out with 2:50 left.
(At) Penn State 74, George Washington 54: Tony Carr scored 11 of his 19 points in the second half. Mike Watkins added 15 points and 12 rebounds, Shep Garner chipped in 12 points and Josh Reaves added 11 for the Nittany Lions (8-3, 1-1 Big Ten) who never trailed and led 48-19 at halftime.
Yuta Watanabe scored 18 points and Jair Bolden added 12 for the Colonials (5-5) who had their three-game winning streak stopped.
(At) Rutgers 92, Fairleigh Dickinson 54: Freshman Geo Baker had his first career double-double with 19 points and 11 assists, while fellow backcourt mates Corey Sanders had 19 points and Mike Williams had 17 points. The trio was efficient from the floor as Baker went 7 of 11 from the field and 4 of 5 from the free-throw line, Sanders went 8 of 14 shooting and Williams was 5 of 7 from the field and 6 of 6 from the free-throw line.
FDU took a 6-3 lead at 17:59 when Darnell Edge hit a 3-pointer off a pass from Darian Anderson. That’s as long as it would be a competitive game.
At 24-16, Rutgers went on a 22-2 run, making 11 straight field goals in a five-minute stretch as a 46-18 game was 50-22 at the break.
FDU was led by Noah Morgan and Darian Anderson, who had 13 and 12 points, respectively.