KeVaughn Allen finished with a season-high 28 points as the Gators cruised to an 88-73 victory over the Arkansas Razorbacks on Wednesday night. Jalen Hudson finished one board short of a double-double, ending the game with 21 points and 9 rebounds. Egor Koulechov was efficient as well, notching 12 points and 8 rebounds in 35 minutes played.
Florida shot 13-25 (52%) from beyond the arc and 48.3% from the field. The Gators outrebounded Arkansas, 40-36, and recorded 14 assists on 28 made shots. Jaylen Barford led the Razorbacks with 28 points on 10-15 shooting from the field. The Hogs struggled severely from the free throw line, sinking only 6 of 15 attempts at the charity stripe. Defensively, Kevarrius Hayes and KeVaughn Allen had 3 and 2 blocks respectively, while Chris Chiozza led the team with 3 steals. The Gators have not lost to the Razorbacks in Gainesville since 1995.
KeVaughn Allen just passed Al Horford for 42nd on Florida's all-time scoring list with that last three-pointer. #Gators
— Jake Winderman (@jakewinderman) January 18, 2018
KeVaughn Allen looked like KeVaughn Allen tongiht. Goes for 28 as Florida beats Arkansas by 15. Will the Razorbacks ever be able to win on the road?
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) January 18, 2018
Final Five Thoughts
- 1. KeVaughn Allen Fueled The Gators’ Fire: KeVaughn Allen opened the game 4-4 from the field, good for 11 points. When Chris Chiozza went down with an injury in the middle of the first half, Allen stepped up and played point guard for the Gators. When Allen’s offense is going, the entire team benefits. It gives opposing teams one more guy to guard, opening up spots on the perimeter and inside for his teammates. The junior started the game driving hard to the basket, giving him some space on the three-point line later in the game. He also took his first free throw in five games on Wednesday night vs. Arkansas.
- 2. Rebounding Was A Team Effort: With Gorjok Gak sidelined and Isaiah Stokes/John Egbunu out as usual, it was necessary for the Gators to rebound as a team to keep Daniel Gafford, Trey Thompson and other Arkansas bigs off the glass. 8 different Florida players grabbed at least one board.
- 3. Jalen Hudson For 6th Man Of The Year?: Florida’s bench outscored Arkansas’, 27-12, thanks to Jalen Hudson’s production as a reserve. Hudson has only started one of the Gators’ last 6 games and has been the team’s offensive x-factor off of the bench. The Virginia Tech transfer is quickly working his way into the 6th Man of the Year competition. He was even successful on the boards on Wednesday night, adding 9 rebounds.
- 4. Three-Point Happy: When the Gators hit 8 or more three-pointers they’re 11-3 on the season. Florida went 13-25 from long-range on Wednesday night, let by KeVaughn Allen’s 6 triples. Florida is one of the premiere three-point shooting teams in the country and benefits greatly from Chris Chiozza and KeVaughn Allen’s ability to drive-and-dish at will.
- 5. Dontay Bassett Isn’t Ready: I know that people will say that Bassett has redshirted so he should be ready to play, but that’s simply not the case. He’s had a hard time adjusting to in-game defense and gets lost on rotations in the paint. Bassett is a raw talent and one that might not be here had Mike White not had such a hard time recruiting during the Class of 2016. The redshirt freshman needs more time to develop and wouldn’t even see the court if Egbunu, Stokes and Gak were healthy the whole season. He has a nice jumper and athletic upside, but still needs time to adjust to the speed of Division I college basketball.
Florida will have two days off before taking on the Kentucky Wildcats at Rupp Arena on Saturday. Kentucky is coming off of a tough 76-68 road loss to the South Carolina Gamecocks on Tuesday night.