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APTOPIX SEC South Carolina Arkansas Basketball

South Carolina's Chris Silva (30) has the ball knocked away by Arkansas' Trey Thompson (1) during the first half in an NCAA college basketball game at the Southeastern Conference tournament Thursday, March 8, 2018, in St. Louis.

Jeff Roberson, AP Photo

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Jaylen Barford scored 13 of his 17 points in the second half to help Arkansas hold off South Carolina for a 69-64 win in the second round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament on Thursday night.

The win is the seventh in the last nine games for the sixth-seeded Razorbacks (22-10), who advance to face No. 3 seed Florida on Friday night.

Barford, a first-team All-SEC selection, was 6 of 11 from the field and had a key 3-pointer and fast-break layup in the closing minutes. Daryl Macon added 12 points for Arkansas, hitting 8 of 8 free throws, including two in the final minute that helped seal the win.

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 Mississippi on Wednesday night. Maik Kotsar also scored 15 points, and Frank Booker added 11.

Arkansas led 36-28 at halftime thanks to its performance at the free throw line, where it hit 14 of 15 in the half. The Razorbacks entered the game 12th in the SEC in free-throw percentage (67 percent), but they continued to shoot the ball well from the line in the second half — finishing 23 of 26 (88.5 percent) overall in the win.


South Carolina: The loss puts an end to any hopes South Carolina had of returning to the NCAA Tournament, where it reached the school's first Final Four a year ago.


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