Florida knocked out of SEC tournament by Arkansas

Gamecock men's rally falls short versus Arkansas in SEC tournament

Gamecock men's rally falls short versus Arkansas in SEC tournament

Barford finished with a team-high 17 points.

The high-powered offense of Florida will clash against the mid-tier defense of Arkansas.

Jaylen Barford paced Arkansas with 27 points, while Daniel Gafford chipped in a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds. 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. The Razorbacks hit 23 of 26 free-throw opportunities to shoot 88.5 percent. The two teams traded baskets for the first couple of minutes before Arkansas ran off a 7-0 run to take its largest lead at that point at five.

The Tennessee Volunteers and Arkansas Razorbacks meet Saturday in the college basketball SEC Tournament semifinals at the Scottrade Center.

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

"Your coach leaves with basically four regular-season games left, and it's one of those deals that we had to try and rally around each other, stay positive, stay together, and they did a good job of that", Ole Miss interim coach Tony Madlock said. Not only did he post 22 points and 5 rebounds, but he shot an extremely efficient 8-10 from the field, including 4-5 from beyond the arc.

Next up, the Razorbacks will face 2nd seed Tennessee in the semifinals at 2pm on ESPN.

SC (17-16), trying to follow up last year's run to the Final Four with another postseason flurry, will have to settle for an invitation to the NIT after losing nine of its final 13 games.

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. The Hogs have now won 39 straight games while leading at halftime. Barford hit a deep contested three pointer, and he stole an in-bounds pass on the very next possession and made the layup. SC only cashed in on 10 of 16 free-throw chances for 62.5 percent. 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.

Arkansas: The last time the Razorbacks won a game against Florida was on February 5, 2013, in Fayetteville.

The University of Arkansas, Fayetteville needed a live-or-die defensive effort to take out the No. 3 seed Florida Gators on Friday in the SEC Tournament.

Both games can be seen on SEC Network. 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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