Santa came early for the Florida men’s basketball team this year. With the first game at the newly renovated Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center being played Wednesday night in Gainesville, Florida came away with a 94-71 win over Arkansas Little Rock. Florida improves to 9-3 on the year while ALR falls to 9-4.
The Gators dominated the entire game and never trailed. They scored the first nine points of the game and at halftime, the Orange and Blue led by 29 points. The Gators shot 69 percent and had a season high total of three pointers at 16.
It was a phenomenal night for forward Devin Robinson who had a career high 21 points on 7-for-11 shooting from the floor and 4-for-5 from the the 3-point line. He also grabbed seven rebounds and added two assists. Robinson really credits the home crowd being there giving them the energy needed.
“It was crazy; the crowd was going crazy; we were just intense we were just focused on doing our jobs and the crowd just helped us.”
John Egbunu, who is the normal starting center for the Gators was out for the second straight game due to a hamstring injury in practice. Sophomore Kevarrius Hayes started for the Gators tonight and did well, as he was one of five Gators to score in double figures with 12 points and he flirted with a double-double grabbing eight rebounds.
“We did pretty good playing offense, playing with each other turning the ball and as we moved the ball around we got a lot of good open shots,” Hayes said.
KeVaughn Allen added 19 points for the Gators and five rebounds. He scored 13 of the Gators first 20 points and went 4-for-5 from deep.
“KeVaughn was knocking down everything, every time he shot the ball I knew it was going in. He really practices his craft every day in practice,” Robinson said on his teammate.
Point guard Kasey Hill had the first double-double of his career with 11 points and 11 rebounds, while Canyon Barry added 15 points for the Gators off the bench.
The Gators will now go into a mini break for the Christmas holiday. Gator coach Mike White says his team and staff really need the rest.
After the Gators return from their break on the 26th they will get back into it and get ready for their first conference game, against the Arkansas Razorbacks in Fayetteville on December 29.
Huge crowd, rowdy atmosphere, lots of shots falling — check the highlights! pic.twitter.com/bjLkpJDRIu
— Gators M-Basketball (@GatorsMBK) December 22, 2016