As if KeVaughn Allen hadn’t hurt Arkansas enough already.

As if KeVaughn Allen hadn’t hurt Arkansas enough already.


The Florida freshman, former Arkansas recruit and north Little Rock native made two free throws with 5.6 seconds left to seal Florida’s victory over Arkansas, 87-83.


Arkansas wasn’t supposed to win in Gainesville. The Razorbacks haven’t now in 21 years. But Arkansas scared the daylights out of the Gators.


Six straight Arkansas field goals, including four 3-pointers in the final couple minutes, trimmed a 12-point Florida lead to just two points with 6.5 seconds left. Allen had to scramble to take a Florida inbounds throw on the Gators end of the basket, but did and was fouled to push the Gators lead to an insurmountable double digits.


The loss isn’t dooming to the Arkansas (11-11, 4-5 in SEC) season. It hurts as it all but officially eliminates Arkansas from any slim hope it may have had for an NCAA Tournament season. Yet despite the Razorbacks record, they’re still very much alive for the postseason. They gave Florida, a team that beat top 10 West Virginia by almost 20 points last week, a challenge until the end.


Arkansas had stayed within five, and often three points for good chunks of the second half after trailing by two at the break. But a 2 for 9 stretch from the 10:18 mark until there were about five minutes left left Florida opportunity.


Chris Chiozza’s step-back 3-pointer with 6:16 left pushed the Florida (15-7, 6-3) lead to eight points, 65-57. Arkansas was in the midst of a scoreless stretch of more than three minutes. When Manny Watkins turned the ball over on the other end after Chiozza’s 3, Finney-Smith hit another trey to push the lead to double-digits. Anthlon Bell made his own 3-pointer on the next possession, finally snapping the scoreless drought, but the damage was done.


The frustration turned visceral with 4:51 left. Moses Kingsley was whistled for a technical foul after appearing to say something to an official on an Arkansas possession. When the referee walked toward the scorer’s table to to make the official call, Kingsley reached out and grabbed the official’s arm. Arkansas coach Mike Anderson gave him a look of disappointment as he removed his leading scorer.


Even as the Florida lead reached as many as 12 points with less than five minutes left, a Dusty Hannahs 3 with 1:19 remaining pulled Arkansas back within six points to provide a last gasp. And after a Florida dunk, Anton Beard made another from deep to make the lead five with 36 seconds left. KeVaughn Allen then made two free throws before Hannahs made another 3 with 24 seconds left. Two more free throws and Jabril Durham 3 left Florida’s lead at two points with 6.5 seconds, suddenly.


Bell led all scorers with 24 points, while Hannahs had 20 and Kingsley 15. The Razorbacks had only eight points from bench players while Florida received 21. Dorian Finney-Smith led Florida with 22. Chiozza had 17 points and eight assists. Allen finished with 10 points and Conway graduate Justin Leon had seven.


Florida has not lost to Arkansas in Gainesville since February 1995.


Arkansas next plays Saturday against Tennessee at Bud Walton Arena. Only two of the Razorbacks last nine opponents have winning SEC records. Five of those games are in Fayetteville.