Frazier’s free throws lift Florida over Arkansas, 57-56

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) Michael Frazier II hit two free throws with 1.9 seconds remaining and Florida escaped with a 57-56 victory over Arkansas on Saturday.

Dorian Finney-Smith added 16 points, nine rebounds and four assists for the Gators (12-9, 5-3 Southeastern Conference), who won their second straight after a three-game losing streak and got another much-needed resume-booster for the NCAA tournament.

Frazier finished with six points on 2-for-9 shooting, including 0-for-5 from 3-point line. But his play and poise in the final seconds proved to be the difference.

Florida had the ball with 11.5 seconds remaining, but Chris Chiozza missed a shot. Frazier got the offensive rebound and was fouled – Arkansas coach Mike Anderson disagreed with the call – by Alandise Harris. He made both, a nice turnaround for the junior guard who got benched at halftime.

The Razorbacks (16-5, 5-3) had one final chance, but turned the ball over on the in-bound pass. The loss snapped Arkansas’ three-game winning streak and was the team’s 10th consecutive loss in Gainesville.

Bobby Portis led Arkansas with 21 points and 10 rebounds.

Portis was a one-man show down the stretch, scoring 10 consecutive points and helping Arkansas overcome a nine-point deficit.

Harris missed the second of two free throws that would have tied the game at 55, but Anton Beard got the loose ball and banked in a shot from just inside the free throw line.

The Gators responded, though.

Florida won despite shooting just 34.6 percent from the field, making 4 of 22 from the three-point line and missing eight free throws.

Arkansas shot 40 percent, but was 3 of 16 on treys.

TIP-INS

Arkansas: Hasn’t won at Florida since Feb. 28, 1995. … Last four games decided by a combined nine points. … Portis reached double figures in scoring for the 16th consecutive game.

Florida: Improved to 10-2 all-time vs Arkansas. … Coach Billy Donovan benched Frazier and fellow guard Eli Carter coming out of halftime. … New football coach Jim McElwain spoke to the crowd at halftime, saying he’s going to get the Gators ”back where they belong, and that’s the national championship.”

UP NEXT:

Arkansas hosts South Carolina on Tuesday.

Florida plays at Vanderbilt on Tuesday.