By Otis Kirk
Special to the News-Times
FAYETTEVILLE - Arkansas only trailed for 31 seconds on Tuesday night in Bud Walton Arena on their way to a 91-82 victory over No. 14 Auburn.
The Razorbacks led 52-42 at intermission, but then scored the first nine points of the second half to take their biggest lead of game, 61-42, with 17:48 remaining.
True freshman Daniel Gafford scored the first six points of the second half and then senior Daryl Macon buried a three.
Gafford didn't start the game as Mike Anderson went with five seniors.
Trey Thompson replaced Gafford in the lineup.
Gafford came off the bench though to score nine points and block five shots in the first half. He finished the game with 21 points, 10 rebounds and seven blocked shots.
Auburn refused to go away in the game.
A jumper by Jared Harper with 3:02 remaining in the game pulled the Tigers to within six, 84-78. However, that was as close as they would get.
A dunk by Gafford and two free throws by senior Anton Beard stretched the lead to 88-78 with 1:28 remaining.
Jaylen Barford was one of the seniors honored before the game.
Barford had 20 points and 10 rebounds to join Gafford with a double-double.
Macon added 16 points and six assists, while Beard had 11 points, five assists and four rebounds.
Senior forward Arlando Cook had one of his better games of the season finishing with seven points and three rebounds.
One thing that kept Auburn in the game was they made 31-of-34 free throws compared to the Hogs only converting 19-of-30.
The rebounding was close with Arkansas getting 39 compared to 37 for Auburn.
Bench points was a huge advantage for the Razorbacks at 40-15.
No doubt a big reason for that was Gafford coming off the bench on Senior Night.
Auburn was led by Mustapha Heron with 28 points, while Harper added 20 and Bryce Brown 12.
The Razorbacks were on fire from the field.
They shot 53 percent from the field as well as from behind the three-point stripe.
Arkansas made 10 three-pointers in the game, including seven in the first half.
The win for Arkansas (21-9, 10-7) moved them into a third-place tie in the SEC with Florida, who topped Alabama 73-52 on Tuesday night.
The loss dropped Auburn (24-6, 12-5) into a first-place tie with Tennessee.
The Vols blasted Mississippi State 76-54 on Tuesday night as well.
Arkansas will close out the regular season on Saturday at Missouri.
The game will tip at 5 p.m.
Missouri (19-11, 9-8) defeated Vanderbilt 86-78 on Tuesday night.