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Arkansas Squeaks By Florida


A spinning shot by Kareem Reid and two free throws by one of Arkansas' worst foul shooters helped the No. 22 Razorbacks beat No. 21 Florida in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference tournament.

Reid scored 17 points, including a tiebreaking layup with 34 seconds left, and freshman Chris Jefferies hit two free throws with 13 seconds remaining as the Razorbacks edged the Gators 75-74 Friday night.

Arkansas (21-9) plays Mississippi State, a 62-56 winner over No. 18 Tennessee earlier Friday, in one semifinal Saturday at the Georgia Dome.

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  • "I just tried to make something happen," Reid said of his tiebreaking layup. "When I spun I didn't have anybody on me, but there were some big bodies up there. I just threw it up and tried to hit it off the backboard and it went in."

    Reid's shot gave Arkansas a 73-71 lead, but Florida (20-8) had a chance to tie it with 15 seconds left. However, Udonis Haslem's 5-footer bounced off the rim and Reid rebounded.

    Jefferies, a 46 percent free-throw shooter during the regular season, then was fouled and made both free throws for a 75-71 lead.

    "He is the worst free throw shooter in the United States of America," Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson said. "We were trying to get him out of the game, but the good Lord must have been looking down, for we couldn't get him out. He made a big play, that's how you win games."

    Weaks, who led Florida with 17 points, made a 3-pointer with 3.5 seconds remaining to get the Gators within a point. Reid was fouled with 2.8 seconds left and missed both free throws, but Florida couldn't get off a final shot.

    Jefferies added 13 points, Derek Hood had 12 points and 13 rebounds and Pat Bradley had 11 points for Arkansas.

    Haslem added 16 points for Florida and Mike Miller had 15.

    Florida trailed b nine points early in the second half before rallying to tie several times, the last at 71 on a basket by Brent Wright with 1:25 left.

    "It was a tale of two halves," said Florida coach Billy Donovan. "It was the tale of our inability to make free throws for the entire game."

    Florida made 14-of-28 free throws. Haslem was only 6-of-14.

    Florida's Greg Stolt, who made an SEC-record eight 3-pointers in Thursday night's 97-75 victory over LSU, was only 2-of-6 from long range and scored only six points against Arkansas.

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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