Arkansas guard Davonte Davis, right, and Florida guard Myreon Jones scramble for the ball during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/Matt Stamey)

Gators Hoops Demolished By Arkansas

The Florida Gators men’s basketball team (14-13) fell to the Arkansas Razorbacks (18-9), 84-65. This was the Gators first game since losing Colin Castleton to a broken hand.

For the Razorbacks, it was Jalen Graham who lead the way with 26 points coming off of the bench. He was vital in Arkansas taking over the game halfway through the 1st half. They never looked back.

Freshman Riley Kugel stepped up for the Gators and led the offense with 17 points.

Gators Keep 1st Half Competitive

Florida opened the game with a slight lead over Arkansas. They looked to be just fine without Colin Castleton in the lineup. It was especially impressive in front of a loud road crowd. However, both the Gators and Razorbacks offenses were quiet, resulting in a close score and competitive first half.

In the final 10 minutes of the 1st half, Arkansas began to take control. Their offense found itself and got to the free-throw line frequently. Star guard Nick Smith Jr. was aggressive for every possession he was on the floor. Smith Jr. is projected to be a top pick in the NBA draft and is looking great in his first few games back from injury.

Arkansas Dominates In The 2nd Half

From the second that the game returned from halftime, Arkansas took full control of the game. They exploited the Gators lack of skill and presence in the paint. On offense, Jalen Graham was on fire for the Razorbacks. He was efficient from the field and made his free throws coming off of the bench.

On defense, Makhi Mitchell was dominant on the glass. He wasn’t being contested with when snagging down rebounds. The Gators offense seemed to be uncomfortable, especially around the perimeter. The Razorbacks defense was pesky, causing turnovers that lead to fast break points.

What’s Next For Both Teams?

The Gators will look to bounce back on Wednesday when they host the Kentucky Wildcats. The Wildcats will come in with big momentum after defeating the top-10 Tennessee Volunteers.

The Razorbacks will host Georgia on Tuesday. They’ll look to ensure their bid into the NCAA tournament.

About Daniel Haviv

Hello, my name is Daniel Haviv and I'm a junior sports journalism student at the University of Florida. As a sports writer, I have published content on a multitude of different sports across all levels. Additionally, I was a beat reporter for the Gators Men's Basketball team for the 2022-2023 season. Game-day previews and post-game articles are featured.

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