Isaiah Joe Shot Historically Well In His First Games As a Razorback
Isaiah Joe scored a game-high 18 points, making 5-of-8 from 3-point range, to lead Arkansas to a 96-47 exhibition home win over Tusculum to open the season. This comes off a scintillating 9-of-14 (64.3%) shooting performance from three-point range in the red-white game. In all, Joe has shot 14 of 22 from beyond the arc to begin the season — the best three-point shooting start from an Arkansas freshman in program history.
Yes, it’s early. Yes, Tusculum is only Division II. But these early returns show that against tougher competition Isaiah Joe will be more than capable of shooting above 45% from the arc while shooting a high volume of attempts. Coach Mike Anderson needs him to shoot like this if the Hogs are going to break into the Top 25 early this season.
“It’s just another day,” Isaiah Joe said when asked about his shooting after the win. “I mean, I’m not going to get excited about knocking down shots. That’s what I’m supposed to do. That’s my job and that’s what they brought me here for. I’m just glad my teammates are able to find me.”
Despite the large margin of victory, Arkansas got off to a slow start in the first half. Tusculum jumped out to an 8-0 lead to start the game and Arkansas did not score until the 15:51 mark. Then Gabe Osabuohien came off the bench to spark an 7-0 run that ballooned into an 18-4 run.
Tusculum kept it close and only trailed by six at the break. Arkansas had five assists with 13 turnovers while shooting 18.2 percent from 3-point range and making just 8-of-20 free throws.
The second half opened with a flurry. The Hogs opened with a 14-0 start as part of a 23-4 run to put the game out of the reach. In the period, Arkansas only committed seven turnovers, dished out 18 assists and shot 47.8 percent (11-of-23) from long-range. The Razorback defense only allowed 23 second-half point while holding the Pioneers to just seven assists while forcing 29 turnovers for the game.
This was the second largest margin of victory in an exhibition game in the Mike Anderson’s era.
All told, five Razorbacks scored in double figures including Joe (18), Daniel Gafford (13), Jalen Harris (13), Keyshawn Embery-Simpson (13) and Reggie Chaney (13). Chaney added 10 rebounds while Osabuohien had eight and Gafford nine. Afterward, Mike Anderson praised Chaney: “He has a level of toughness that I like. He can play above the basket and the thing I loved about him tonight, he was really great on the front of the pressure defense. He was touching a lot of basketballs. Then once he got it, he was making pretty good decisions with it. That’s going to be big.”
Arkansas will play the second of its two exhibition games next Friday (Nov. 2) versus Southwest Baptist. Tip-off at Bud Walton Arena is set for 7 pm.
First Half Notes – Arkansas 30, Tusculum 24:
– Arkansas controlled the tip but neither team scored until 17:33, a 3-pointer by Tusculum’s Austin Hall.
– The Pioneers went on an 8-0 run to start the game.
– Arkansas’s first point was a free throw by Adrio Bailey at the 15:51 mark.
– Gabe Osabuohien entered the game and provided a spark for the Razorbacks as Arkansas would immediately go on a 7-0 run. The Razorbacks would eventually make that an 18-4 run with 9:17 left to play.
– Most of Arkansas’ offense came on strong defense, namely its full-court press.
– The highlight of the run was a defensive stop that led to long pass to Daniel Gafford, who tipped the ball to Mason Jones for a layup. The Razorbacks immediately forced another turnover when Gabe Osabuohien stole a pass and got fouled before making two free throws.
Second Half Notes (Arkansas outscored Tusculum 66-23):
– Jalen Harris started second half with a 3-pointer and Isaiah Joe followed with a 4-point play, hitting a trey and free throw. A second 3-pointer from Harris and a dunk by Reggie Cheney capped a 14-0 run to start the period at the 15:57 mark.
– Arkansas held Tusculum to 23 second-half points while the Razorbacks shot 52.5 percent from the field in the final 20 minutes.
– In the second half, Reggie Chaney started and scored 10 points. Daniel Gafford, who battled foul trouble, entered the game at the 10:24 mark of the second half with just two points and one rebound. But he finished strong with 13 points and nine boards.
– Arkansas is 15-0 in exhibition games under Mike Anderson.
– Arkansas has scored 88-plus points in 10 of those 15 wins with an average margin of victory of 31.1 points.
– Arkansas has won 29 consecutive exhibition games since 2004-05.
Information via ArkansasRazorbacks.com