December 17, 2018

Razorbacks Advance to SEC Semifinals with 80-72 Victory Over Florida

10 March 2018, 11:26 | Randall Craig

Yahoo! Sports


Perhaps the biggest difference in the game was Arkansas making 23-26 (88 percent) free throws.

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

Chris Silva had 15 points and 11 rebounds to lead the No. 11 seed Gamecocks (17-16), who advanced to the second round with a win over MS on Wednesday night.

On offense, junior guard Jalen Hudson has stepped up of late, averaging 22.7 points over his last three games. Florida was shut out for nearly five minutes of clock time and by the time the Gators ended the drought on a couple of free throws it was 62-50 Arkansas with 5:04 left. Should Arkansas defeat Florida, the Hogs would play the victor of Tennessee-Mississippi State game at approximately 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.

On the season, Florida basketball averages 76.2 points, 35.4 rebounds and 13.0 assists per game. Arkansas led by as many as 15 points, but poor shot selection, turnovers, and other mistakes allowed SC back in the game.

Up next, the Hogs will have a quick turnaround with a tip against No. 2 Tennessee (23-7, 13-5 SEC) at approximately 2:30 p.m. (CST). SC only cashed in on 10 of 16 free-throw chances for 62.5 percent.

Silva and Kotsar both scored 15 points to lead SC. The Gators maintained the lead, pushing it back to 29-22 at the 4:54 mark on a 3-pointer by Okauru.

Adrio Bailey and Darious Hall each added 9 points. But the Hogs were dominating everything, including the boards where Daniel Gafford produced a rim-ringing dunk with 3:25 to play. 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. Their accumulation of minutes shouldn't hurt them despite the Gators having fresh leges coming into tonight's contest thanks to the double bye.

Florida is now projected as a 5 to 6 seed in most NCAA Tournament mock web sites. Arkansas beat Tennessee in Bud Walton Arena on December 30 in the first SEC game for both teams, 95-93 in overtime.

Blaine Knight (0.53 ERA) is expected to start the opening game with Isaiah Campbell (1.88 ERA) taking the second game on Friday. The Wildcats have had an up-and-down season with their young roster, but they had won four straight prior to a loss to Florida. I expect the Wildcats to start putting it together and it begins with a win over Georgia. The Lonoke native led all Razorbacks hitters with.444 average in the two series, and Martin is hitting.414 on the season with a.793 slugging percentage.

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