FAYETTEVILLE — Mason Jones broke the 30-point plateau for the third straight game and turned in his second 40-point effort of the season, but Arkansas couldn’t take advantage of it against Auburn in a 79-76 overtime loss at Bud Walton Arena.
Jones finished with 40 points (12-of-24 from the field, including 5-of-12 from 3-point range) and five assists.
Jones scored a career-high 41 points in a win over Tulsa earlier this season and has a total of five games with at least 30 points this season.
In a game that featured 11 ties and 12 lead changes, the Razorbacks were down 34-32 at halftime,then scored the first five points of the second half to go up three.
Auburn battled back to take a five-point lead (48-43) with 13:36 left in regulation.
The Hogs responded with a 7-0 run of its own, highlighted by a Jones to Adrio Bailey Alley-oop dunk to put the Hogs up two, 50-48 (11:34).
Arkansas built a pair of 11-point leads over the next five-plus minutes, the last being a 65-54 advantage on a highlight-reel dun by Jalen Harris at the 5:59 mark.
Auburn used an 11-1 run and whittled the lead down to two, 68-66, with two minutes remaining in regulation. Then, J’Von McCormick sank a 3-pointer to put the Tigers up one, 69-68 (1:43). Jones was fouled with 36 seconds left and tied the game at 69-69 with a free throw. Arkansas’ defense forced a shot clock violation.
The Razorbacks had 6.5 seconds left on the clock to win the game, but a 3-pointer by Harris went in-and-out to force overtime.
In overtime, Auburn led 75-70 with 1:42 left. The Hogs’’ defense got a stop and Jones made a great hustle play to get the Hogs to within one, 77-76, on an old-fashion 3-point play with 12 seconds left.
Auburn’s Samir Doughty was immediately fouled and he made both free throws to go up three, 79-76. The Razorbacks got one final look but did not convert.
In addition to Jones’ 40 points, Arkansas was led by Bailey. The senior scored an SEC career-high 11 points and grabbed an SEC career-high seven rebounds.
Desi Sills added 14 points, his most against SEC competition this year and one point off his SEC career high of 15 (last season at Kentucky).
Doughty led the Tigers with 23 points and Anfernee McLemore added 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Arkansas hits the road for back-to-back games, facing Missouri Saturday (Feb. 8 at 2:30 pm) and Tennessee (Feb. 11 at 6 pm CT). Both games will be televised on the SEC Network.
First half notes
• Arkansas made its first three 3’s (two by Mason Jones and one by Adrio Bailey). The Hogs led 11-8 at the first media timeout.
• Down five (18-31), Jones and Desi Sills hit back-to-back 3’s before Jones followed with a jumper at the free throw line for an 8-0 run (4-of-4 from the field over 1:52) to put Arkansas up three (21-18) at the second media timeout (10;03). The run extended to 10-0 after the timeout. The run ended when Auburn hit two free throws at 8:45 (23-20).
• Arkansas then went on a 7-0 run, capped by a Sills 3-pointer, to force an Auburn timeout. Arkansas led 30-23 at 6:07.
• Auburn went on an 11-1 run to take a 34-30 lead. However, Jones ended the run with two free throws to make the score 34-32 in Auburn’s favor.
• Jones had 15 first-half points and three assists. Jimmy Whitt Jr. had five rebounds.
• Arkansas out-shot the Tigers 41.4% FG to 37.8% and made 6-of-12 3-pointers, compared to 4-of-16 for Auburn.
• The Razorbacks also had six steals while forcing nine turnovers.
Second half notes
• Arkansas scored the first five points of the second half to go up three, 37-34.
• The Razorbacks used a 7-0 run to take a 50-48 lead, highlighted by an ally-oop dunk from Mason Jones to Adrio Bailey at 11:34.
• Auburn tied the game at 50-50 before Arkansas used a 9-0 run and 59-50 lead (8:18).
• The Tigers went on an 8-0 run to tie the game, 66-66, with 2:53 left. Jones ended the drought with two free throws to give Arkansas a 68-66 lead.
• Auburn’s J’Von McCormick made a 3-pointer with 1:43 left to go up one 69-68.
• Jones made a free throw with 36 seconds left to tie the game, 69-69.
• Auburn ran the clock down and Adrio Bailey and Reggie Chaney “went vertical” and forced a shot clock violation.
• Arkansas had 6.5 seconds but could not convert to force overtime.
• Arkansas’ starting lineup was Jimmy Whitt (G) – Desi Sills (G) –Mason Jones (G) – Reggie Chaney (F) – Adrio Bailey (F) for the first time this season. It was the fifth different starting lineup this season.
• Auburn won the tip for the 11th time in 22 games this season. Arkansas is 7-4 in such games.
• Auburn’s Samir Doughty scored the first points of the game, a jumper on the right block at 18:34. Mason Jones scored Arkansas’ first points, a 3-pointer from the left wing at 17:19. It was his 10th time to score the team’s first points of the game this season.
• Mason Jones now has seven career 30-point games, six this season. He has two, 40-ponit games this season. He is the first Razorback since Dean Tolson accomplished the feat in 1973-74.
• Arkansas now has eight games where a Razorback has scored at least 30 points. The last time Arkansas had a many as eight 30-point games in a season was having 10 in 1972-73 (all by Martin Terry).
• Arkansas had 14 steals. It was the second-most for the Razorbacks this season and the most since having 15 at Georgia Tech (Nov. 25).
• Arkansas only committed 10 turnovers for the game after having seven in the first half.
• Arkansas forced 18 turnovers. Arkansas has forced at least 15 turnovers in seven of its nine SEC games.
• In SEC games only, Arkansas entered the game in committing the fewest turnovers, forcing the most turnovers and assist-to-turnover ratio.
• Arkansas leads the NCAA in 3-point field goal percentage and held Auburn to 25.8% (6-of-31).
Information from Razorback Sports Communications is included in this story.