March 10, 2018 / 5:17 AM / in 8 days

Arkansas beats Florida in SEC quarterfinals

Arkansas scored 12 straight points to break open a close game in the second half Friday night and advance to the semifinals of the Southeastern Conference tournament with an 80-72 win over Florida at Scottrade Center in St. Louis.

Jaylen Barford pumped in a game-high 27 points for the sixth-seeded Razorbacks (23-10), which will meet No. 2 Tennessee in a Saturday semifinal.

Daniel Gafford chipped in a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds, while Daryl Macon added 13 points and Anton Beard finished with 10.

Keith Stone drained four 3-pointers and scored 22 points to pace the Gators (20-12), who figure to receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament on Sunday night. Chris Chiozza added 16 and KeVaughn Allen netted 11 points.

Leading 50-48 after a layup by Mike Okauru with 10 minutes left, Arkansas suddenly created game-breaking separation. Barford had five points in the run, capping it with a 3-pointer at the 5:58 mark for a 62-48 advantage.

Florida never got the game closer than seven after that, as the Razorbacks kept it at bay by making free throws. They made 6-of-8 in the last 1:28, including four straight by Barford.

The Gators made only 41.7 percent of their shots for the game and 40 percent in the second half.

Florida controlled most of the first half, scoring the first six points on 3-pointers by Chiozza and Egor Koulechov. Arkansas tied the game at 10 when Barford made a 3-pointer less than 4 1/2 minutes into the half, but a second Koulechov 3 regained control for the Gators.

That started an 8-0 run which climaxed on a Stone layup with 12:49 left in the half, giving Florida an 18-10 lead. The Gators maintained the lead, pushing it back to 29-22 at the 4:54 mark on a 3-pointer by Okauru.

Those were the last points Florida managed in the half, though. 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.

— Field Level Media

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