FLORIDA FOOTBALL & RECRUITING COVERAGE
In the opening game of the second round of the SEC Tournament, the 8-seeded Florida Gators (18-14, 10-9) picked up a much-needed victory over the 9-seed Arkansas Razorbacks (17-15, 8-11) 66-50. Both offenses struggled, but the Gators were able to do just enough to pick up a win to boost their tournament resume.
We Chomp Chat: Florida-Arkansas Game Thread
WHAT WENT RIGHT: As both offenses weren’t the most effective, the Gators did more things right offensively than their opponent. Florida dominated the glass and outrebounded the Razorbacks soundly, 41-to-26. That may have been the difference in this one, as the Razorbacks are a team that control the glass very well. The Gators also shot better from beyond the arc, as both teams attempted their fair share of three’s.
WHO STOLE THE SHOW: Florida's Keyontae Johnson was the best player on the floor in this game, as the freshman looked the most energized and was all over the court. It may have been Johnson’s best game of the season, as he recorded a double-double. Johnson scored 20 points, shooting 3-for-5 from beyond the arch, while grabbing 12 rebounds.
And of course, since the Gators were facing the Razorbacks, Arkansas native KeVaughn Allen had himself a game as well. Allen added 17 points on a 6-for-14 shooting performance from the field.
NUMBERS DON’T LIE: The Gators were all over the glass Thursday, particularly on the offensive side. Florida grabbed 19 offensive rebounds, which resulted in 18 second chance points. Five different Gators grabbed offensive boards, led by Johnson’s 6 offensive rebounds.
BOTTOM LINE: The Gators entered Thursday’s conference tournament game projected as one of the Last Four In according to ESPN’s Bracketology. So, the Gators found themselves in a must-win situation if they want to improve their chances of making the tournament.
That’s just what happened for the Gators. It wasn’t pretty by any stretch, which has been a theme this season, but at this point in doesn’t matter. The Gators should be feeling much better about their chances of making the tournament. But with that being said, there’s still a lot on the table, like the tournaments No. 1-seed and SEC regular season champ, LSU.
UP NEXT: The Gators will get another crack at the LSU Tigers, the number one seed in the SEC Tournament. However, the Tigers are without head coach Will Wade, who is suspended indefinitely. The team’s split the regular season series, with both games going to overtime. Tipoff between the Gators and Tigers on Friday is set for 1 p.m.