KeVaughn Allen was back to the form that made him a fan favorite the last few seasons in Gainesville with 28 points in a dominating Gators performance that saw them take down the Arkansas Razorbacks 88-73. After his jump shot looked crooked to start the season it was incredibly encouraging to see Allen go 6-7 from the 3-point line, confidently drilling the shots found for him by perimeter players like Chris Chiozza and Egor Koulechov. Jalen Hudson was also his normal ridiculous-shot-making self tonight going 6-12 from the field (4-8 from 3), really stretching out the Razorback defense when both he and Allen were on the floor. Rebounding was another area of success for the Gators tonight as they were +9 on the glass with Hudson leading the way with 9 rebounds and Koulechov chipping in with 8. The Gators will need to be solid on the glass on Saturday against Kentucky so they’ll need to keep up this rebounding form.
Florida knew that Arkansas’ best offense came from their senior guard trio of Anton Beard, Daryl Macon, and Jaylen Barford, and they did a pretty good job of limiting them. Though Barford had a spectacular game (28 points on 10-15 shooting), the other two really struggled going a combined 7-21 from the field. This shows a team that was diligent with their scout and solid in execution which should make the coaching staff extremely happy.
KeVaughn Allen Back?
After struggling up to this point in SEC play, Allen had a breakout performance that will hopefully carry on through the rest of the season. Finishing with 28 points and 4 rebounds, Allen played a spectacular offensive game that kept Arkansas on their heels all night long. I’d still like to see a little bit more aggressiveness out of Allen, as after a hot shooting first half it took him until the 10:24 mark of the second to put up his first shot of the half. Allen’s play tonight showed fans a glimpse of what Florida can look like when he is firing, and let me tell you, it looked great.
Free Throw Luck
Entering tonight’s game Florida was giving up the highest percent from the free throw line in the country, a stat category they would rather not be on top of. They finally got a break tonight as the Razorbacks shot a dismal 6-15 (40%) from the line. Florida shot freebies really well going 19-22 (86%), a number that really helped widen the gap tonight.
Chris Chiozza has never been scared to battle with the big men for rebounds, and that tenacity put him in a vulnerable position in the first half tonight. Standing under the hoop looking to secure a defensive rebound, Chiozza was hit with an inadvertent elbow that left him laying on the ground with a red spot surrounding his left eye. After leaving the game briefly to make sure he was alright, he was able to re-enter the game and get back to running the point. Florida has had enough injuries this season already and already have lost Gorjok Gak to a similar play so it was good to see Chiozza get back into the game.
What’s Up Next
One of the games we all had circled on our calendars from the moment the schedule was announced, the Gators take on Kentucky on January 20th for College Game Day. Kentucky just took a bad loss to South Carolina on Tuesday night in a game where they lead by 10 in the second half so Florida needs to jump on the Wildcats after their frustrating loss to the Gamecocks. It will be a good one, so make sure to keep up with Gator Country leading up to this game!
What did you think of tonight’s game with the Razorbacks? Leave a comment here or post on the Gator Country forums!