- Associated Press - Saturday, December 3, 2016

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) - Mike Anderson has spent much of the early season looking for his best defensive lineup.

The Arkansas coach might just have found it, thanks to a few starting lineup changes in a 99-62 win over Austin Peay on Saturday night.

The win is the largest victory of the season for the Razorbacks (6-1), who had 12 players score in the comfortable win. They also scored 25 points off 13 turnovers by the Governors (4-4), just one example of the harassing, active defense Arkansas played in winning its third straight game.

Adrio Bailey scored a career-high 14 points on 7-of-8 shooting off the bench for the Razorbacks, but it was a starting lineup that featured first-year junior college transfers Jaylen Barford and Daryl Macon that set the tone - particularly on defense.

Just like Anderson had hoped.

“I thought we were really engaged defensively,” Anderson said. “… By the end of the game, we had 45 deflections. That’s probably the most we’ve had all year long. I think it started with defense with that group there.”

While the starters led the way with defense, the Arkansas bench - led by Bailey - outscored Austin Peay 55-12. Dusty Hannahs, coming off the bench for the first time this season, had 13 of those points for the Razorbacks, who shot 51.9 percent (40 of 77) in the win.

Preseason Southeastern Conference Player of the Year Moses Kingsley added 13 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three blocks, while Barford had 12 points and C.J. Jones 11 for Arkansas.

Barford scored six early points as the Razorbacks built a 41-31 halftime advantage. He also had a pair of steals as Arkansas built a 41-31 halftime advantage after a 21-3 first-half run. The Razorbacks led by as many as 17 points in the half, and they used a 30-4 second-half run to put the game out of reach.

“I think it’s great for us, because we feed off defense,” Barford said. “I think just being active everywhere on the floor has helped us out a lot, because it brings a lot of energy to the crowd and a lot of energy to our bench.”

John Murray led Austin Peay with 23 points, while guard Josh Robinson, who entered the game averaging 23.3 points per game, finished with nine on 3-of-14 shooting.

The Governors were outrebounded 47-31 and gave up 26 second-chance points to the Razorbacks.

“The second half we came out a different basketball team, obviously,” Austin Peay coach Dave Loos said. “And so did they … They do the dirty work and get after people.”

BIG PICTURE

Austin Peay: The Governors last victory against an SEC team came in 2011 against Tennessee. They were overwhelmed in their only SEC matchup of this season on Saturday, shooting just 36.9 percent (24 of 65) and committing 13 turnovers that led to 25 Arkansas points.

Arkansas: Hannahs entered Saturday without a 3-pointer in his last two games and shooting 9 of 28 (32 percent) from behind the arc for the season. The senior, who hit 43 percent of his 3-pointers last season, found his stroke by connecting on 3 of 5 3-pointers against the Governors - a much-needed boost for the Razorbacks as they close in on SEC play.

GIVING SEASON

Arkansas finished with a season-high 28 assists in the win, with Kingsley leading the way with a career-high five. Forward Dustin Thomas, Barford and point guard Anton Bear each added four assists for the Razorbacks, whose previous best was 23 in a win over Southern Illinois.

UP NEXT

Austin Peay is off for a week before traveling to face IPFW on Dec. 10.

The Razorbacks host a difficult nonconference opponent in Houston on Tuesday night.


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