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Hogs struggle early, can’t recover

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Hogs struggle early, can’t recover

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Razorback men’s basketball team struggled from the field early on and couldn’t recover to keep a hot shooting Florida Gator team at bay on Saturday night as they fell in Gainesville, 75-43 for their sixth loss of the season. This is the first time this season that Arkansas has lost consecutive games.

Arkansas (12-6, 2-3) shot a season low 30 percent from the field in the game and also scored a season low in points, with their previous low coming against No. 12 Texas (46). Florida (15-4, 4-1), on the other hand, couldn’t seem to miss from the floor for the entire game as they shot 30-of-61 after going for 57 percent in the first half alone.

“In the first four to five minutes, I thought we did ok,” said Arkansas head coach John Pelphrey. “We had some shots and just didn’t convert. They played very well and had a good mix of inside and out. We’re obviously disappointed.”

The Gators would open the game on a 10-2 run leading into the first media timeout, with Vernon Macklin making up eight of those first 10 points. However, as good as Florida shot from the field, the Hogs struggled at just as high of a rate. Throughout the entire first half, the Gators took advantage of their size advantage after forcing sophomore Marshawn Powell into early foul trouble. With Powell on the bench, the Gators had an inside presence from Macklin, who was 5-for-7 from the field, but also an outside sharpshooter in Kenny Boyton, who went 3-for-6 from behind the arc.

Florida would push their lead up to 16 going into halftime after another 10-2 run over the final 4:40 to make it 36-20 Florida at the half. Arkansas would finish the first half with seven players in the point category, but the highest output would come from junior Jeff Peterson and junior Michael Sanchez, who each had four points to lead the team.

The second half was much as the same story for both teams as Florida opened the final 20 minutes with a 13-2 run over the first seven minutes of play to make it a 49-24 advantage for the Gators. Florida was able to cap that run with a Chandler Parsons layup, his first bucket of the game, but not until after he had pulled down 12 rebounds at that point in the contest.

Arkansas would raise their shooting percentage in the second half, but not by much, only to 29 percent. They would get two three pointers in the second half from junior Marvell Waithe and sophomore Julysses Nobles and continue their streak of consecutive games with a made three-pointer. The record now stands at 725 games dating back to 1989.

The Hogs would finish the contest with two players scoring in doubles figures. Senior Delvon Johnson would lead the team with 12 points and seven rebounds, while Powell would finish with 10 points and six rebounds.

The Gators would be led by three of their starting five in double figure scoring. Kenny Boynton would lead all scorers with 20 points and 4-of-7 from behind the three point line, followed by Alex Tyus and Vernon Macklin, who tied with 13 points.

The men’s basketball team will finally return home for their next contest after a two game road trip. They will face the Auburn Tigers at Bud Walton Arena on Tuesday, Jan. 25 with tip-off scheduled for 8 p.m. The game will also be televised by ESPNU. For all information regarding the Razorback men’s basketball team, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.



Sports Category : Basketball (M)