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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- It wasn't the worst loss of the season, just the ugliest.

Especially during a second half Thursday when the University of Arkansas had no answers for Florida.

The Razorbacks came to the SEC Tournament full of hope after a three-game winning streak to end the season. This was one final shot at making the NCAA Tournament, but they missed badly -- just like their last seven shots did that covered the final 7:57.

Usually you can score one by a lucky bounce, but all the luck went to the better (spoiler alert) defensive and rebounding team.

Florida won 66-50 because its shots went in as the shot clock wound down, and Arkansas' looks didn't. A large majority of the shots in the second half were with one or two clicks left on the shot clock on both ends of the court because of the hard-nosed defense both teams played.

Florida played it better in the second half. The Gators held the Hogs to six second-half field goals on 24 attempts for a chilly 25 percent.

The Gators took advantage of the Hogs on the boards, grabbing 19 offensive boards (spoiler alert) because the Razorbacks didn't block out. Florida scored 18 second-chance points, many of them at the free-throw line.

It started out evenly, and Florida led 30-28 at the break mostly because it controlled the tempo. Midway through the first half, the Razorbacks started running and took a 19-15 lead. Florida Coach Mike White called a timeout, the Gators regained the lead four minutes later, and they never trailed again.

In the second half, Florida stepped up its defense and started attacking the basket. The Gators also outhustled the Hogs to almost every loose ball.

The Razorbacks had just three players make field goals in the second half: Daniel Gafford made 3 of his (spoiler alert) 4 shots; Mason Jones made 2 of 7; and Reggie Chaney was 1 of 2.

With 7:57 to play, the Razorbacks trailed 47-44 after Jones' putback basket. Of course, they didn't know that would be their final field goal.

KeVaughn Allen, the North Little Rock native who has haunted the Hogs for four years, hit a three-pointer with 7:25 to play, then he added two free throws and a layup to make it 56-48. It was time to bring out the bows because the Gators had it wrapped up.

Allen finished with 17 points, the second-most points scored. Keyontae Johnson, a 6-5 freshman, led all scorers and rebounders with 20 points and 12 rebounds.

In that final 7:57, the Razorbacks made six of seven free throws.

Some may point at the free-throw shooting disparity-- Florida made 16 of 22 and Arkansas 12 of 16 -- and say the refs hurt the Hogs. That would not be right. The Hogs fouled a lot after getting beat for rebounds.

The refs were not very good, but they didn't determine anything other than the game took longer than it should have.

It was a bad ending to a very mediocre Hogs' season. The Razorbacks finish 17-15 overall and 8-10 in the SEC. They were 1-4 against teams who were ranked when they played them.

Yet, there was a good number of fans here to call the Hogs, more than remembered in recent years, and perhaps that was because the Razorbacks had won those last three games.

Instead of winning four games in four days, the Hogs were one and done, something that had happened to Anderson only three other times.

Now (spoiler alert) the Hogs go home and wait to see if they get an invitation to the NIT, which is the dreaded tournament for those left off the Big Dance card.

Sports on 03/15/2019

Print Headline: WALLY HALL: Spoiler alert: Hogs disappoint in Nashville

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Comments

  • Waitjustaminute
    March 15, 2019 at 7:32 a.m.

    'Spoiler alert.' Nice. And right on point.

  • hlair08290721
    March 15, 2019 at 9:11 a.m.

    Spoiler alert you can't win with the fastest 40 minutes or even 40 minutes of hell when the game has so many speed bumps and speed governors. Anderson has to adjust - Mike Neighbors of Lady Razorbacks has,and other top 25 coaches have.
    It's not only all the official time outs, it's the media and review timeouts that totally eliminate the need for second platoons.
    Even with platooning, Arkansas has gotten beaten in second half, when Hogs have had the players who are worn down. Many times extensive time on bench is worse than playing.You lose your edge.
    If you watch Duke with all their talent, you can check the minutes,key players get them. Against Syracuse, the three key players played 34 minutes or more. Coach K is preparing for NCAA, and not so much winning conference tournament.
    Spoiler alert: how many times this year has the Razorbacks been playing well, when Anderson made planned first half substitutions, and the game situation didn't call for it.

  • odinson
    March 15, 2019 at 9:42 a.m.

    I'm not a stats guy, outside of Gafford, it feels like this is the worst shooting team in recent memory. Hopefully maturity helps for next season.

  • Dirtdr
    March 15, 2019 at 11:02 a.m.

    Why did it seem that only two or three Razorbacks were encouraged/allowed to shoot, when we observed a number of wide open shooting opportunities? Maybe their accuracy percentage was so low in practice and previous games that Coach Anderson shunned their shooting chances?
    When you work 4 players beyond the arc with no pentration, only one is in any position to rebound a ball that deflects into the lane. Too much 3-point focus.
    When will our coaches learn to adapt and change strategy based on what is actully happening during the game?

  • MaxCady
    March 15, 2019 at 5:05 p.m.

    A fitting end to a dud of a season.

  • kellyinlrarusa
    March 15, 2019 at 5:19 p.m.

    no they did just what we all knew they were going to do. i hope they dont go the NIT

  • HarleyOwner
    March 15, 2019 at 9:54 p.m.

    As usual, "One And Done"

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