Florida basketball score: Gators collapse again but hold on to beat Arkansas

By Adam Silverstein
January 10, 2019
Florida basketball score: Gators collapse again but hold on to beat Arkansas

Image Credit: UAA Communications

It was only a few days ago when Florida Gators basketball suffered one of its most embarrassing losses in quite some time, blowing a 14-point second-half lead to fall with a buzzer-beating slam dunk at home to South Carolina. On Wednesday in Fayetteville, Arkansas, it looked like Florida was on the verge of an identical finish until the Gators (9-5, 1-1 SEC) somehow pulled out a nail-biter of a 57-51 victory over the Arkansas Razorbacks (10-4, 1-1 SEC).

Let’s take a look at what went down in Florida’s latest win.

It was over when … senior guard Kevaughn Allen hit two free throws with 12 seconds remaining to put Florida up five on Arkansas. Allen would go on to hit two more free throws with 2 seconds left to score the final four points of the game. The Gators led by as many as 16 points in the second half and were up 15 when they went on a 3:27 scoring drought and saw the Razorbacks post a 10-0 run to cut the visitors’ lead to five. Before long, that scoring stretch extended to 15-2 for Arkansas as Florida’s advantage dropped to two with 1:02 left in the game. UF failed to hit a shot the final 2:35 of the game and made just one of its last seven field goals as it barely hung on to a victory in a near-repeat of the weekend’s disastrous game.

It was a horrid game on Wednesday with the teams starting a combined 0-for-22 from downtown and at one point missing 15 straight field goals. Both teams shot around 30 percent for the game and struggled to find the bottom of the basket.

Exceptional efforts: Allen, who led Florida with 18 points, was just as bad as the rest of the team from the floor. He went 3-for-11 from the field and 1-for-9 from three with nearly all of his point scoring coming on 11-of-12 shooting from the charity stripe. Freshman G Noah Locke was the only other player to shoot with any consistency, hitting 2-of-5 triples for 10 points.

Odds and ends: Redshirt senior G Jalen Hudson earned his first start since November after head coach Mike White said he had the two best practices of his career; he still went 4-for-15 from the field, though he did hit a clutch basket late … the teams combined for seven second-chance points and four fastbreak points … UF only got 10 points off the bench, while UA’s bench went 0-for-10 from the field and 0-for-4 from the line … each team went 6-for-26 from three and scored 18 points in the paint … Florida led for 32:48 of the 40-minute game

What it means: Nothing. One could hang their hat on the Gators not suffering the same fate they did a few days ago at home, but that’s hardly worth celebrating. Florida’s defense is legitimate, but its offense is abhorrent as the Gators actually posted their worst-shooting game of the season yet still won. Any team that can score with consistency should be able to beat UF unless it has a substantially better shooting performance, and even then, it will be difficult for this team to beat more talented programs.

Up next: After two excruciating performances, Florida gets to host No. 3 Tennessee (12-1) on Saturday at 6 p.m. ET in a game that will air live nationally on ESPN.

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