FLORIDA FOOTBALL & RECRUITING COVERAGE
After leading by 19 at one point, the Florida Gators (17-9, 9-4) were able to weather the storm against the hard charging Arkansas Razorbacks (16-9, 4-9), winning 73-59. The game at one point looked all but over in the first, but the Razorbacks kept the Gators on their heels and eventually erased the deficit to just three points.
However, the Gators were able to get some key stops and make critical buckets down the stretch to secure their third-straight double-figure victory.
Here is our Instant Analysis.
What Went Right: After nearly blowing a large lead, the Gators were able to hang onto to victory over the Razorbacks. Behind some timely shooting, Florida was able to put Arkansas away in the closing minutes. It was another efficient offensive night for the Orange and Blue, shooting 50% from the field
He Stole The Show: With the Gators once large lead slipping out of their hands, Keyontae Johnson and Andrew Nembhard came to Florida’s rescue to hold onto the victory.
It was a big second half for Johnson, as he scored 16 of his team-high 24 which included some critical shots down the stretch.
It was also a strong closing half for Nembhard, scoring 12 of his 17 points. The Gators point guard also grabbed seven boards with four dimes.
And joining his sophomore teammates, Noah Locke continued with his hot-hand. Locke went 3-for-4 from beyond the arc, finishing with 11 points. Florida’s sophomore trio combined for 52 of their 73 points.
These Numbers Don’t Lie: There were a lot of whistles in the O’Dome and subsequently that resulted in a lot of boo’s from the fans. Questionable calls aside, the refs were just too whistle-happy Tuesday night in Gainesville. 36 fouls in 40 minutes of basketball is something that just shouldn’t happen. Let the players play.
In some actual game numbers, the Gators were helped by a nice showing on the glass. Florida outrebounded the Razorbacks 36-to-26 and grabbed eight offensive boards that resulted in 11 second-chance points.
The Bottom Line: It sure wasn’t the prettiest, but the Gators were able to power through and pull out the win. Some will say they should lose credit for almost slipping up on a 19-point lead and rightfully so. But Florida does deserve credit for the way they were able to respond.
It looked like momentum had shifted in favor of the Razorbacks after they ended the first on a 12-2 run and started the second just as fast. But, the Gators were able to buckle down and grind out another much-needed win with March looming.
Up Next: On the calendar next for the Gators is the always anticipated yearly trip to Rupp Arena to face the Kentucky Wildcats. Coach John Calipari’s Wildcats are ranked 10th in the country and currently hold a one game lead in the SEC. Saturday’s tip-off is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. with coverage on ESPN.
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