Hot Start Shooting By The Gators Leads To SEC Win

Guard KeVaugh Allen scored a season-high 28 points & the Florida Gators (13-5 5-1 SEC) won their seventh game in the last eight games overall, beating the Arkansas Razorbacks 88-73.  The loss by the Razorbacks (12-6 2-4 SEC) was their 13th straight loss in Gainesville.

Both teams got off to a hot start shooting the basketball in the first five minutes.  And after those first five minutes because of shooting from Razorback Forward Daniel Gifford & Gator Guards Chris Chiozza & Allen, the score was tied at 15.  Then started by a layup by Forward Mike Okauru, the Gators went on a 7-0 run, that included a three pointer from Guard Jalen Hudson.  And as the game approached the 10 minute mark of the first half, Allen hit another three pointer & the Gators lead was 28-17.

The three pointer seemed to be the Gators major weapon in the first half.  So much so that the Gators, who entered the game averaging five three pointers a game, had five three pointers with five minutes left in the first half.  And with under five minutes left in the first half, the Gators matched their largest lead of the half, 18 points, when Allen, who had 20 points in the first half, drained two free throws giving the Gators a 45-27.  

The Razorbacks got back to back layups from Guard Daryl Macon near the end of the half but because of a combined 35 points from Allen & Hudson, the Gators halftime lead was 48-33.  And the Gators ended the half with seven three pointers.

Yet trailing by 15 at the half, the Razorbacks started the first five minutes on a modest eight to four run but it got Arkansas within 11 points.  That run was met by a three pointer by Forward Egor Koulechov to make it a 14 point Gators lead.  And after another Razorback hoop, Kouchelov hit his second three pointer of the half pushing the Gators' lead back to 14.

The teams traded baskets until just under 11 minutes left in the game when after a three pointer by Guard C.J. Jones, the Razorbacks got within 9, the first time their deficit was under double digits since the 10 minute mark of the first half.  But the next six minutes turned into another Gators run, including another two three pointers from Allen & another three from Koulechov & the lead went from single digits to as high as 21 with four minutes left in the game.

In the final four minutes of the game, the Razorbacks outscored the Gators 12-6 but it was too little too late as the Gators hit 13 three pointers & got 49 points from Allen & Hudson.

The Gators will travel to Lexington on Saturday & look for their second straight win when they take on Kentucky at 8:15PM.

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