Arkansas holds on to beat SC, advances to SEC Tournament quarterfinals

  • Arkansas holds on to beat SC, advances to SEC Tournament quarterfinals

Arkansas holds on to beat SC, advances to SEC Tournament quarterfinals

Barford led the Hogs with 17 points and made 3 steals to counter his 3 turnovers.

Florida guard Chris Chiozza shoots a 3 against Arkansas at the O'Connell Center in their January 17 game. Daniel Gafford added 16 points and 10 rebounds for Arkansas.

Ten players saw the floor in the first half alone, as Arkansas closed the first 20 minutes on a 10-2 run consisting of only free throws. The win is the eighth in the last 10 games for the sixth-seeded Razorbacks (23-10), a winning stretch matched in the SEC only by No. 13 Tennessee — who Arkansas will face on Saturday. Barford had five points in the run, capping it with a 3-pointer at the 5:58 mark for a 62-48 advantage.

The Razorbacks would go on a 16-2 run over the next five minutes, scoring 12 straight to take a 14-point lead.

"I think our confidence is great right now as a team", Barford said.

Keith Stone led third-seeded Florida (20-12) with 22 points and finished 8 of 10 from the field. "Two games this year he dominated us".

The victor of the Georgia-Vandy game moves on to face fifth-seeded Missouri tomorrow. The Razorbacks caught and passed them on a layup by Adrio Bailey with 55 seconds remaining, enabling them to go to the locker room with a 30-29 edge. Arkansas led the SEC in three-point percentage (40%) during the regular season and have two of the top three-point shooters in the conference in Jaylen Barford (43.3%) and Darly Macon (42.6%).

Florida managed a couple of brief leads in the 2nd half, 31-30 after Hayes' tip-in 30 seconds in and 37-35 following a three pointer by KeVaughn Allen with 18:30 left.

Arkansas salted the game away at the free-throw line against a resilient Gamecocks squad that was led by Chris Silva with 15 points and 11 rebounds and Make Kotsar with 15 points and 11 rebounds. One of Florida's largest strengths was their ability to convert at the free throw line.

Barford anticipated a pass to the top of the key and made a steal for an easy layup to give Arkansas a 7-point lead, but SC scored five straight points to cut Arkansas' lead to 2. The Arkansas Razorbacks have won four straight neutral site games. In the lone meeting between the two teams this season, Florida beat Arkansas 88-73 in Gainesville on January 17 behind a season-high 28 points from junior guard KeVaughn Allen.

South Carolina: The loss puts an end to any hopes South Carolina had of returning to the NCAA Tournament, where it reached the school's first Final Four a year ago.

Both games can be seen on SEC Network.