Kingsley posts double-double in win over North Florida
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) —
Arkansas entered Saturday coming off its biggest win of the season over Houston and eager to put a winning touch on an undefeated early home schedule.
First, the Razorbacks had to find a way to stop hot-shooting North Florida guard Dallas Moore.
While Arkansas (8-1) struggled to slow Moore throughout, Dusty Hannahs scored 17 points and Moses Kingsley added 13 points and 10 rebounds as the Razorbacks pulled away in the second half for a 91-76 win on Saturday.
Moore finished 34 points, just off his career high of 37 against Edward Waters earlier this season, but Arkansas used a late 11-0 run to hold off the formidable challenge from the Ospreys (3-8).
"The tests keep coming for this basketball team," Arkansas coach Mike Anderson said. "... Sometimes you tell kids you can't look at their records because you're going to get their best shot, and we got their best shot."
Playing against Southeastern Conference competition was nothing new for North Florida, which was playing its fourth game against a Southeastern Conference school this season. That experience showed for Moore, who finished 12-of-20 shooting and hit four 3-pointers.
The senior entered the game averaging 21.4 points per game this season, but he had been particularly effective in his last three games — averaging 30 points while shooting 57.1 percent (32 of 56) from the field.
Moore continued his stellar play in the first half on Saturday, scoring 22 points on 8-of-12 shooting as North Florida managed a 44-44 tie with the Razorbacks.
"Just confidence," Moore said of the reason for his hot shooting. "I shoot with coach as much as I can, because I want to be the best player I can be."
Moore was unable to finish the game after a slight cramp in his right calf, but Arkansas had already taken control by that point. After trailing 63-62 late in the second half, the Razorbacks used an 11-0 run to take control against the back-to-back Atlantic Sun Conference regular season champions.
"These kinds of game, where you're making large sums of money for your athletic department ... After a while, it wears on you," North Florida coach Matthew Driscoll said. "... Arkansas, to their credit, never stopped."
Jaylen Barford, who finished with 14 points, started the run with a 3-pointer as the shot clock was running out, while Daryl Macon (13 points) added back-to-back 3-pointers during the run.
"I just saw the clock and went tunnel vision, honestly," Barford said. "I just knew I had to make that shot, because I shoot that shot every day in practice."
Aaron Bodager had 14 points, while Garrett Sams finished with 10 for the Ospreys — who were outrebounded 42-27 in the loss
North Florida: The Ospreys have experience this season against teams from the SEC, having now faced — and lost to — four of them. However, they entered Saturday averaging 19.1 turnovers per game, and those struggles continued against the Razorbacks — with North Florida committing 19 turnovers that led to 21 points for Arkansas.
Arkansas: Hannahs came off the bench for a third straight game for the Razorbacks, whose bench outscored North Florida 36-6. With Hannahs coming off the bench, Arkansas has now outscored its opponents 125-32 in bench points over the last three games.
Moore was the Atlantic Sun Player of the Year last season, and he was picked as the preseason Player of the Year this season. The 6-foot-1 guard has played like it against top competition this season, and he's now scored 95 points over his last three games — against the likes of Florida, Syracuse and the Razorbacks. "(Moore) is the best I've played since I've been here," Macon said.
North Florida stays on the road, traveling to face Texas Rio Grande Valley on Monday.
After five straight games at home, Arkansas takes to the road to face Texas in the Lone Star Shootout in Houston on Dec. 17.