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.
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.”
Arkansas hosts South Carolina on Tuesday.
Florida plays at Vanderbilt on Tuesday.