Guard Jaylen Barford scored 17 points, including five in a row at a crucial stretch late in the game, to lead Arkansas to a 69-64 victory over South Carolina on Thursday night in the Southeastern Conference Tournament in St. Louis.
The win sets up a quarterfinal matchup for the Razorbacks Friday against Florida.
Barford scored 13 of his points in the second half, hitting a 3-pointer and a layup off a steal after the Gamecocks had closed to within two points to give the Razorbacks (22-10) a 66-59 cushion with 2:52 left in the game.
The Gamecocks (17-16) were able to get back to within 66-64 with 1:11 left but guard Daryl Macon hit two free throws and guard Anton Beard one to seal it for the Hogs. The Gamecocks missed their final four shots over the last minute.
Forwards Chris Silva and Maik Kotsar led South Carolina with 15 points each.
The Hogs made up for ordinary shooting (42.9 percent) by going 23 of 26 at the free throw line while the Gamecocks were 10 of 16 from the stripe.
After losing a seven-point lead and falling into a 26-26 tie with just over four minutes left in the first half, the Razorbacks went on a 10-2 run over the rest of the period without the benefit of a field goal.
They were 10 of 10 at the free throw line in that span, however, two of them by guard Daryl Macon after a technical called on South Carolina coach Frank Martin with a minute left.
The Hogs missed their last four tries from the field while the Gamecocks made only one of their final attempts. In addition to the futility from the floor, the two teams combined for 17 turnovers in the first 20 minutes, nine charged to South Carolina.
Arkansas started the second half, however, making five of its first seven shots to build a 47-32 lead less than four minutes into the period before the Gamecocks rallied.
—Field Level Media