The Florida Gators basketball team (15-7, 6-3 SEC) narrowly defeated the Arkansas Razorbacks (11-11, 4-5 SEC) at 87-83 on Wednesday night in Gainesville, Florida.
Despite the Gators making the first basket of the game, the Razorbacks quickly took charge. Arkansas went on a 7-2 run in the first two minutes of the game.
Florida was able to get back in the game, taking the lead by one point at 8-7 with 15:15 left in the half. From there the score went back and forth until the Gators were able to pull away with a three-ball from Dorian Finney-Smith, giving them a lead of 17-11 with 11:30 to go in the first.
This was just one of Doe-Doe’s many baskets. In the first half alone he tallied up 14 points and four rebounds. Not far behind was Chris Chiozza with eight points and five assists.
The Gators were able to get as high as a nine point lead after a basket from behind the arc by Justin Leon with just 5:20 to go in the half. But in the next three minutes the Razorbacks managed to tie up the game at 37 with just 2:01 on the clock.
Luckily for Florida, Arkansas fouled John Egbunu who made two free throws to give the Gators back the lead at 39-37 before heading to the locker room for halftime.
Coming back from the half, the Gators were determined to hold on to the lead. They allowed Arkansas to make a basket, tying the game at 39 but that did not last for long. Doe-Doe dished back a layup, drew a foul, and completed the and-one giving the Gators back their confidence.
From that point on Florida allowed Arkansas to take some shots, but never the lead. After allowing the Razorbacks to get within two points of their lead, the Gators came back hard with three dunks in a row. One from KeVaughn Allen and two in a row from Egbunu, giving the Gators an 8-point lead with 14:54 left on the clock.
Despite the Gators seeming to pick up momentum, the game stayed relatively close. That is, until Chris Chiozza got a hot hand with back-to-back baskets, putting Florida up at 68-57 with 5:50 to play.
Florida was able to get as high as a 12-point lead twice during the second half. The second coming after a pair of free throws from Chiozza with 4:12 to go. Arkansas fought hard to get back in the game, but was unable to combat a team playing as hard as the Florida Gators were.
With the Razorbacks inept of the task of making a comeback, the Florida Gators men’s basketball team held down their turf in Gator Nation with a win of 87-83.
In this win, five Gators scored in double-digits – including Dorian Finney-Smith who put up his sixth 20-point game of the season with 22 points and 9 rebounds. Not far behind him was Chris Chiozza with an uncharacteristic 17 points and 8 assists. The other three players with double-digits were John Egbunu with 14, Kasey Hill with 11 and KeVaughn Allen with 10.
The Florida Gators men’s basketball team will be hitting the road this weekend to play the Kentucky Wildcats in Lexington, Kentucky on Saturday evening at 4 p.m.