March 14, 2019 / 7:39 PM / 11 days ago

Florida pulls away from Arkansas in SEC tourney

Florida freshman guard Keyontae Johnson posted his second double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds, and senior guard KeVaughn Allen broke out of a slump with 17 points, lifting the Gators to a 66-50 win over Arkansas on Thursday in the SEC tournament in Nashville, Tenn.

Mar 14, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Florida Gators cheerleader take the court prior to the game against the Arkansas Razorbacks in game three of the SEC conference tournament at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The eighth-seeded Gators (18-14) remain on the NCAA Tournament bubble heading into an SEC quarterfinal matchup against No. 1 seed LSU on Friday.

Florida, up 47-44 in the second half, outscored ninth-seeded Arkansas 19-6 in the final 7:57 to snap a three-game losing streak.

Allen, who entered the game having made five of his past 31 shots from the floor, started the run with his third 3-pointer of the game, a shot that hit the backboard and rim before falling through. After two free throws from Arkansas freshman guard Desi Sills cut Florida’s lead to 54-48, Allen answered again with a driving layup to give the Gators a 56-48 lead.

Allen, a native of North Little Rock, Ark., improved to 7-1 in his career against his home-state team, going 6 of 14 from the floor and 3 of 7 from 3-point range.

Johnson hit 8 of 14 shots from the field, including 3 of 5 from long distance.

Sophomore center Daniel Gafford led Arkansas (17-15) with 15 points and six rebounds. Freshman guard Isaiah Jones added 12 points for the Razorbacks, who had a three-game winning streak snapped.

Florida outworked Arkansas on the glass, out-rebounding Arkansas 41-26.

Florida trailed by as many as eight points in the first half, but rallied to take a 30-28 halftime lead.

Johnson and Allen each scored 10 first-half points, allowing the Gators to stay in the game.

With Arkansas up 19-12, Allen started UF’s comeback with a 3-pointer, cutting the lead to 19-15. Allen’s second 3-pointer of the first half cut Arkansas’ lead to 25-24. Late in the half, Johnson was able to get an offensive rebound and put-back, putting the Gators up 30-28 at the half.

—Field Level Media

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