FAYETTEVILLE – Davonte Davis converted a fast break layup with 3:28 left to help the 24th-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks out-score Florida 14-2 over the final 3:28 and claim a 75-64 victory at Bud Walton Arena.
Arkansas (17-5, 9-4 SEC) has won seven straight SEC games to stand in second place in the SEC. Also, the win helped the Razorbacks get just the third win over the Gators (10-6, 6-5) in the last 20 games. (Florida had won three straight, 11 of the last 12 and 17 of the last 19 heading into the game.)
The seven-game SEC win streak is the best by Arkansas since Feb. 2015. Arkansas also won seven straight to close the 1994-95 season. (The program’s best SEC win streak is 11 games to close the 1993-94 season.)
Davis led all scorers with 18 points while Justin Smith continues to excel since returning from an injury. The graduate senior had 15 points (7-of-9 shooting) with six rebounds, two blocked shots, a career-high five steals and a career-high (tied) four assists.
Arkansas led from the out-set until Tyree Appleby gave Florida its only lead (62-61) with a layup with 4:40 left in the game. Davis answered to put Arkansas back on top, 62-61, and never relinquished the lead. The Hogs made 7-of-8 free throws inside the final minute to seal the win.
The key to the game was Arkansas’ 3-point defense. After allowing 27 triples in the last two games combined, the Razorbacks held the SEC’s league leader in 3-point percentage to just 19% (4-of-21) from long range. (Florida was shooting 37.5% from distance entering the game to rank 41st in the NCAA.)
Florida was also leading the SEC in field goal percentage (.474 to rank 37th in the NCAA) but was held to is second-lowest shooting percentage of the season at 37.7% with the lowest being 37.5% versus Kentucky.
Joining Davis and Smith in double digits were Moses Moody and Jalen Tate, each with 14 points. Jaylin Williams tied his career high with a game-best 10 rebounds in 23 minutes played.
Tyree Appleby, who gave Florida its only lead (62-61) with a layup at the 4:40 mark, led the Gators with 16 points and Colin Castleton had 13 off the bench. Tre Mann added nine points and eight rebounds.
Arkansas returns to the road to face Texas A&M on Saturday (Feb. 20). Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 pm (CT) and the game will be televised on SEC Network.
FIRST HALF: Arkansas 40 – Florida 30
- Arkansas made five of its first seven shots to lead 10-9 at the first media timeout. However, Florida converted a old-fashion 3-point play coming out of the timeout to tie the game, 10-10.
- The Hogs cooled down a little but pushed its lead to 18-12 at the second media time out (11:24) as the Gators were held without a point for 3:04. Justin Smith (6) and Davonte Davis (6) combined for12 of the team’s first 18 points.
- Arkansas held the Gators to a second scoring drought of 3:38 to lead 23-15 at the third media timeout (7:29).
- Florida only made 2-of-15 from the field until a Noah Locke 3-pointer at 1:35.
- Seven of the nine Razorbacks that played scored.
- Arkansas shot 51.5% from the field while holding the Gators to 30.6%
- Davonte Davis was 4-of-5 from the field and ed the Hogs with 10 first half points.
- Justin Smith was 4-of-5 from the field with eight points, five rebounds and three assists.
- Jalen Tate was 4-of-6 from the field and had nine points.
- Jaylin Williams added five boards.
- This was Arkansas’ best first half since Vanderbilt (six games ago). The Hogs scored 45 in the first half in Nashville and, like tonight, shot 51.5% from the field.
SECOND HALF: Arkansas 35 – Florida 34
- Arkansas scored the first five points of the second half to force a Florida timeout at 18:06 to take its largest lead – 15 points (45-30).
- The Gators went on a 9-0 run to cut their deficit to six (45-39) at 16:32.
- Florida got to within three (57-54) with 8:16 left.
- A Connor Vanover 3-pointer gave Arkansas a nine-point lead (57-48) with 9:54 left.
- Florida reeled off a 14-4 lead, including back-to-back baskets from Appleby, to take its first and only lead (62-61) with 4L40 left.
- Moses Moody came up with a steal that led to Davis’ fast break layup that put Arkansas back on top for good. Jalen Tate then converted a jumper with 2:16 to make it a four-point game.
- From that point, Arkansas iced the game at the free throw line, making 10-of-12 inside the final 1:28
- Moody was 6-of-7 at the line in the second half and led Arkansas with nine second-half points.
- While the Gators have held the upper hand of late in the series, Arkansas leads 9-7 in games played in Fayetteville.
- Arkansas is 396-114 when playing as a ranked team.
- Arkansas is 7-0 all-time when playing a game ranked #24 in the nation.
- Eric Musselman is 39-13 as a collegiate head coach when his team is ranked.
- Arkansas’ starting lineup was Jalen Tate (G) – Davonte Davis (G) – Moses Moody (G) – Justin Smith (F) – Connor Vanover (F) for the fourth consecutive game.
- Arkansas won the opening tip. Arkansas is 10-2 when controlling the tip.
- Jalen Tate scored the game’s first points, a jumper in the lane at 19:50. Arkansas is 12-3 when scoring first.
- Jaylin Williams and Desi Sills were the first subs for Arkansas.
- Arkansas out-rebounded Florida, 37-36, to improve to 13-1 when out-rebounding the opponent.
- Davonte Davis led the team with 18 points. It was the second time he has led the team in scoring this season with the other being a 14-point performance versus Southern. The 18 points are his second-best output of the season as he scored 20 in the win over Georgia.
- Justin Smith is the only Razorback over the past 25 years to post 17+ points, 6+ rebounds, 4+ assists, 5+ steals and 2+ blocks. (HogStats)
- Arkansas has shot over 43% from the field in 7 of the last 8 games with the lone exception being a double-digit win over Mississippi State (35.9%).
- The 19% 3-point shooting by Florida is the third-lowest by an opponent this season and the fifth-lowest by an opponent in the Musselman era.
- Florida’s 14-of-14 night at the line is the first time an opponent shot 100% at the stripe in the Musselman era and the best by an opponent in Bud Walton Arena.
- Arkansas scored 40 first-half points it marked the 22nd time in 22 games Arkansas has scored at least 40 in a half.
- Jaylin Williams now has three games with 10 rebounds this season, all coming off the bench.
- Connor Vanover missed his first free throw of the year (18:38 of the second half). He made his second and is 20-of-21 for the year.
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