Hogs punch their ticket to SEC Tournament semifinals

ST LOUIS, MO - MARCH 09: Mike Anderson the head coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks gives instructions to his team against the Florida Gators during the quarterfinals round of the 2018 SEC Basketball Tournament at Scottrade Center on March 9, 2018 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

ST. LOUIS – Jaylen Barford scored 27 points and matched his career high with 10 rebounds to help send Arkansas to the semifinals of the Southeastern Conference Tournament with an 80-72 win over No. 23 Florida on Friday night.

The win ends an eight-game losing streak to the Gators for the sixth-seeded Razorbacks (23-10), who are now 5-1 against ranked opponents this season and advance to face No. 13 Tennessee on Saturday.

Barford was 9 of 17 from the field, hitting four 3-pointers, for Arkansas _ which led by as many as 14 points in the second half before holding on in the closing minutes. Freshman Daniel Gafford added 16 points and also matched his career-best with 12 rebounds, keying an effort that saw the Razorbacks outrebound the Gators 43-28.

Keith Stone led third-seeded Florida (20-12) with 22 points and finished 8 of 10 from the field. Chris Chiozza added 16 points and KeVaughn Allen 11 for the Gators, who hit six of their first 10 3-pointers before hitting only seven of their next 22 to finish 13 of 32 overall from behind the arc.

Florida led by as many as eight points in the first half and was up 29-22 before Arkansas closed on an 8-0 run to take a 30-29 halftime advantage. The Razorbacks have won eight of their last 10 games.