The 25th ranked Florida men’s basketball team opened SEC play on the road at 11-1 Arkansas Thursday night and the Gators come away with an 81-72 win.
This was a somewhat of a homecoming for Justin Leon and KeVaughn Allen, two Gators that hail from Arkansas. The crowd didn’t seem to be huge fans of Allen, Florida’s leading scorer who was booed every time he touched the ball. Allen in high school was highly recruited in his home state as a three time Arkansas state champion and Player of the Year but he upset fans when he decided to continue his basketball career at Florida. Allen however, used that as motivation. At halftime he had 15 points on the board for the Orange and Blue and he led all UF scorers with 21 total points on the night.
Allen went 7-for-16 from the floor, and 5-for-9 from the beyond the arc.
“I really wasn’t paying attention to the crowd. I just came in with the right mindset, not worrying about the fans or how many times we played,” Allen said.
“KeVaughn is as steady as a kid as I’ve ever coached. He’s as even-keeled as any player, as calm, as laid back on the court and off the court. He’s not a guy who gets easily rattled, “ added Florida basketball coach Mike White.
Devin Robinson was another player on fire for the Gators. At halftime Robinson was also in double figures with 10 points and he ended up with 17 points for the Gators. He also grabbed seven rebounds, blocked three shots, and hit six of his 11 field goals.
“We haven’t had a big road win the last couple years, so it’s good to come in here play well and come out victorious,” Robinson said.
Kevarrius Hayes started for the Gators in his third straight game at the center position, but John Egbunu did play despite missing the last two games due to a hamstring injury. They had a total of 16 points and seven rebounds.
Kasey Hill shot 50 percent from the floor in the second half. The senior point guard also added 10 points and six assists for the Gators.
Arkansas was led by Daryl Macon with 22 points.
Up next, the Gators return back to Gainesville and will play Ole Miss on January 3.