By: Charles Kane (Twitter: @ckane02)
Florida (22-4) shot 16-30 (53%) and outscored the Razorbacks 39-26 in the second half. Patric Young scored 14 points on 7-10 shooting whilst grabbing seven rebounds. He capped off a 7-0 run by the Gators to open the game with an emphatic slam dunk off a Kenny Boynton miss. The fourth straight sellout crowd for Florida exploded and it seemed things could be ugly for Arkansas early on. Arkansas (17-10) matched with a 5-0 run of its own and eventually tied the game at eight with Marshawn Powell scoring seven straight points. Powell was the SEC’s reining player of the week. After scoring seven points in the game’s first six minutes Powell scored zero points in the remaining 34. He had two fouls with 10:45 left in the first half and had four fouls at the 17:23 mark in the second half. The Razorbacks did not have a single basket in the paint until 6:14 in the first half. Still, Florida only had a four point lead at halftime which was the closest home margin of the season.
The Gators forced nine first half turnovers after forcing just eight in the entire game the last time these two teams met. In that game the Razorbacks upset Florida and shot 7-9 to start the game from beyond the arc. Saturday they began shooting 2-9 from three-point range. Florida started quickly in the second half on an 11-1 run. Arkansas was 1-7 in its first eight second half possessions. Florida finished with 42 points in the paint compared to Arkansas’s 18.
Rosario posted a double-digit point total for the eighth straight game shooting 47-90 (52%) across those games. He is posting a career best in field goal percentage (46%), three-point percentage (36%) and free throw percentage (85%). Erik Murphy and Kenny Boynton each added a pair of threes and 12 points on the night. Murphy has made at least two 3-pointers in 16 of his last 17 games (41-81, 51%). Florida lost Michael Frazier in the second half due to a concussion. Billy Donovan has stated that Florida might have Frazier and Will Yeguete both back by the March 2 game against Alabama.
Arkansas’s leading scorer (third in SEC), B.J. Young (15.7 ppg.), had zero field goals in the game and zero points in the second half finishing with just three points (three free throws). His three points were his second lowest career point total. His lowest was his first game ever as a Razorback. Coty Clarke, on the other hand, did not miss a field goal in the entire game shooting 8-8 and scoring 18 points which were his second highest career point total. His highest was his first game ever as a Razorback. It is odd how opposite those two stats between those two players were tonight.
Saturday’s win was Florida’s 13th straight at home. The Gators’ next game is at Tennessee (16-10) at 7:00 p.m. Feb. 26.
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