Fastbreak: Allen shines in homecoming, Robinson thrives as Florida upends Arkansas

By Adam Silverstein
December 29, 2016
Fastbreak: Allen shines in homecoming, Robinson thrives as Florida upends Arkansas

Image Credit: ESPN Images

Florida Gators basketball (10-3) is back in the AP Top 25 and feeling itself, going into Fayetteville, Arkansas, and putting an 81-72 beating on the Arkansas Razorbacks (11-2) on Thursday night. breaks down the win below.

It was over when … Sophomore guard KeVaughn Allen hit a three with 6:37 remaining, kicking off a 7-0 run that saw Florida take a 14-point lead on Arkansas. Allen chose the Gators over the Razorbacks in recruiting, and while he was razzed by the crowd during the game, he finished as UF’s leading scorer with 21 points while hitting 5-of-9 attempts from beyond the arc. After putting up 19 points against his hometown team of Arkansas-Little Rock last week, Allen has now scored 40 points in two games against teams from his home state, hitting 10-of-16 treys combined in those contests.

Exceptional efforts: Allen may have been Florida’s leading scorer, but junior forward Devin Robinson was the team’s best player on Thursday. Though he missed all five of his triples, Robinson made 6-of-6 field goals inside the arc and 5-of-7 free throws for 17 points, adding seven boards and three big blocks. Robinson saw 31 minutes of action and appears to be getting into the swing of things with the Gators. If he can keep up this level of play, it will go a long way to helping Florida win a bunch of ball games.

Significant stats: The Gators were awful at the charity stripe (12-of-21, 57 percent) but were more aggressive overall in the game and played quality defense on the Razorbacks at times. The teams were even in rebounds (37) and points in the paint (34), though Florida cleaned up 16 offensive boards and netted 18 second-chance points on the evening.

Odds and ends: Redshirt junior center John Egbunu (hamstring) did not start but was active in the game; he grabbed a team-high 11 boards but only played 16 minutes due to fouling out … in Egbunu’s place was sophomore Kevarrius Hayes, who went 4-for-5 from the field for 10 points but also committed four fouls … senior point guard Kasey Hill had a highlight dunk but an otherwise poor night, hitting 4-of-12 shots with four turnovers … graduate transfer G Canyon Barry only got 12 minutes of playing time and continued his disappointing play, hitting 1-of-4 shots and missing all three of his triples for two points; Barry is 5-for-15 from the field in 26 minutes of action over the last two games … UF led for 34:13 of the 40-minute game

What it means: Florida put together its second straight sterling performance, going at Arkansas hard in a true road game and picking up its first SEC win of the season. The Hogs are a top-40 team per Ken Pomeroy, making them the Gators’ best victory of the season to this point, particularly since the game was on the road. That’s a good way to kick off SEC play, especially with consecutive home games coming up next week.

Up next: UF will kick off the new year by hosting Ole Miss on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017, at 7 p.m. in a game that will air live nationally on ESPNU. It will be the first of four games in 11 days for the Gators, three of which they will play at home.


  1. Scroud says:

    Outstanding team effort. I am a believer now in Mike White. He is an excellent coach.

  2. Michael Duggar says:

    East Division (5-0) sweeps West Division, all on the road. For the Gators to win at Bud Walton against a 10-1 team is a great building block for the SEC schedule. Kentucky’s Fab Four plus One, notwithstanding their North Carolina game, has shown signs of being susceptible to the “Big Stage” and I think can be beatable at Exactech (just like the old days!). Georgia and Tennessee’s wins were impressive as well as both programs may be turning the corner a bit under Fox and Barnes.

    Two stats you mentioned that I take a bit of exception with. The Gators forced 10 1st half turnovers to only 2 for UF which enabled us to build the 9 point halftime lead. Kasey is much improved but has a penchant for trying too hard to make things happen and that may be happening at times to him and Canyon Barry.

    Free throw shooting is an anomaly in that if the “wrong” players (a/k/a the post men) get fouled, your % will be lower. Kevarrius (better this season than last) came to the line and badly missed two (2) front ends of 1 and 1 and Egbunu (who has shown flashes of solid free throw shooting) and Kasey (much improved) both went to the line and struggled as well. Conversely, Devin and Kevaughn were solid for the game while Chiozza and Barry failed to go to the line which would have improved the %. Because of the point spread, there wasn’t a lot of “end-of-the-game” free throw shooting which I believe is a better indicator of future problems if the team struggles during that time. While the “Best Things in Life are FREE THROWS” I think that statistic can be misapplied particularly as it relates to who is doing the shooting.

    All in all what a great road win to start the SEC. Thanks for your great writing. Have a Happy New Year and Go Gators.

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