Instant Analysis: Gators get first SEC win

Florida 90 - Arkansas 68

by Joseph Torviso
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After a disappointing 0-and-2 start to SEC play, Florida finally earned their first win against a conference opponent this season. The Gators took a big lead early and kept scoring until the final whistle in a 90-68 win over Arkansas.

Inside the Gators’ Instant Analysis takes a quick look at how the game unfolded.

IT WAS OVER WHEN: The Gators went on a 22-2 point run early in the first half. Arkansas was unable to score due to silly turnovers, poor shot selections and missed free throws. Florida took full advantage and didn’t look back once. After going up 9-7 with 16:20 left in the first half, the Gators kept the lead the rest of the game. Florida had the lead for a total of 37:05 against Arkansas.

THEY STOLE THE SHOW: Riley Kugel. After only playing four minutes, shooting 0/3, and failing to score a single point against Ole Miss earlier this week, the sophomore had himself a day. Off the bench, Kugel scored 20 points while also grabbing five rebounds. It is safe to say that he has gotten his confidence back.

THESE STATS DON’T LIE: A big issue the Gators have had all season is their production from the free throw line. Today, they’ve made their opportunities at the charity stripe count going 15/20 shooting 75%. This is a major improvement from Florida considering the team’s season average is 65.4%. Zyon Pullin was at the line the most this afternoon going 5/7.

THIS MATCHUP PROVIDED KEY: Florida’s big men against Arkansas.

Winning games can come down to earning rebounds. After going on that great run early in the game, the Gators stopped any chance Arkansas had of a comeback by controlling the paint. Tyrese Samuel, Alex Condon, and Micah Handlogten combined for 29 rebounds.

WHAT A PLAY: Florida continued dominating the Razorbacks after the half. On a fast break, Pullin teamed up with fellow senior Samuel for this monster dunk that put the Gators up by 20. Arkansas head coach Eric Musselman had no choice but to call a timeout with 16:26 left in the half.

UP NEXT: The (11-5) Gators travel to the Thompson-Boling Arena to take on (12-4) No.5 Tennessee. Florida is looking to win its first road game since beating Michigan on Dec. 19.

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