GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) Canyon Barry scored 14 points, his best game since injuring an ankle two weeks ago, and No. 12 Florida handled Arkansas 78-65 on Wednesday night.
Kasey Hill, KeVaughn Allen and Chris Chiozza added 12 points apiece for the Gators, who bounced back from their first loss in 10 games and clinched the No. 2 seed in the Southeastern Conference Tournament next week.
Florida (24-6, 14-3) controlled the game much of the night, building a double-digit lead early, extending it to as many as 16 in the first half and then holding on after the break.
Arkansas (22-8, 11-6) made it close midway through the second half, cutting the lead to 51-45 on Trey Thompson’s straightaway jumper. But the Gators responded with clutch shot after clutch shot to make it a 14-point game again. Barry hit a driving layup out of a timeout, Devin Robinson followed with a 3-pointer from the wing and then Keith Stone completed a three-point play.
Jaylen Barford led the Razorbacks with 18 points. Moses Kingsley added 17 points and nine rebounds. Arkansas had won five straight and 10 of 13.
Coach Mike Anderson’s biggest issue was his team allowing the Gators, who improved to 9-1 at home this season, to shoot 51 percent from the field.
Stone finished with eight points, his best performance since mid-January. Florida had another comeback outing from Gorjok Gak, who missed the previous seven games because of a sprained foot. He had two points and two rebounds in 8 minutes.
But Barry was the story. The senior swingman got one of the largest ovations on Senior Night – Barry, Hill, center Schuyler Rimmer and forward Justin Leon were honored – and he delivered.
Arkansas: Despite the loss, the Hogs are still having their best season in years. With a victory in the regular-season finale. Arkansas would have 12 conference wins for the fifth time in program history and just the second time in the last 22 years (2014-15). The Razorbacks also have 22 regular-season wins for the second time in the last 22 years.
Florida: The Gators need Hill, Barry and Stone to continue to play like they did against Arkansas. Hill and Barry make the offense go, and Stone provides a defensive presence in the middle and another 3-point threat on the other end.
Arkansas: The Razorbacks end the regular season Saturday against Georgia at Bud Walton Arena, where they have won five of their last six.
Florida: The Gators wrap up the regular season at Vanderbilt on Saturday. Florida has lost three of its last four against the Commodores, including a home loss in January that helped better focus coach Mike White’s team and sparked a nine-game winning streak.
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