(10) Florida (12-2) at Arkansas (11-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 11, 1 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Bud Walton Arena (19,200) -- Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Television: ESPN2. Home Record: Florida 9-0, Arkansas 9-0. Away Record:
Florida 1-2, Arkansas 0-1. Neutral Record: Florida 2-0, Arkansas 2-2.
Conference Record: Florida 1-0, Arkansas 0-1. Series Record: Florida leads,
GAME NOTES: The 10th-ranked Florida Gators put a six-game win streak on the
line when they invade Bud Walton Arena on Saturday afternoon for an SEC
showdown with the Arkansas Razorbacks.
Billy Donovan's Gators continue to climb the national polls as they have run
out to a 12-2 overall record. Florida hasn't lost since a one-point
heartbreaker at Connecticut back on Dec. 2 (65-64) and has reeled off six
straight victories since, including opening up SEC play on Wednesday with a
74-58 blasting of South Carolina.
Mike Anderson's Razorbacks have flown under the radar this season but are
playing extremely well at an impressive 11-3 on the year. The team did open
SEC action this week with a 69-53 road loss at Texas A&M, but the team had won
seven straight before that. Arkansas is a flawless 9-0 at home this season.
Florida holds a 16-11 series advantage against Arkansas, thanks to wins in six
of the last seven meetings. However, the Gators are just 4-8 all-time on the
road against the Razorbacks.
The Gators are fairly efficient offensively, shooting .467 from the floor, but
the team is only averaging a modest 71.9 ppg. Florida makes up for those
numbers by playing stellar defense, limiting the opposition this year to just
58.7 ppg, while owning a +6.1 rebounding edge and a +3.0 turnover margin.
Forward Casey Prather headlines a quartet of double-digit scorers on the
roster with 17.0 ppg. Scottie Wilbekin is next in line at 12.3 ppg, followed
by Michael Frazier and Patric Young, who tally 11.6 and 10.9 ppg,
Florida played well at both ends of the floor against South Carolina, limiting
the Gamecocks to a mere 58 points, while forcing 21 turnovers. The Gators
dominated play in the paint, outscoring USC 40-16 inside, helping UF shoot a
scorching .578 from the floor in the game. Wilbekin led the team with a game-
high 17 points. Young and Prather chimed in with 13 points apiece in the
Arkansas will test Florida's staunch defense in this one, as the Razorbacks
come into the game averaging a robust 84.7 ppg on .485 shooting efficiency.
There aren't any gaudy scoring averages on the roster, but Arkansas does
possess a deep scoring pool, with four players currently averaging double
figures. Michael Qualls has been in and out of the starting lineup and leads
the team at 12.9 ppg. Bobby Portis has been a fixture as a starter and is a
close second with 12.4 ppg. Alandise Harris and Rashad Madden round out the
foursome with 10.4 and 10.3 ppg, respectively.
It was a rare offensive slump for Arkansas this week, as the team was held to
a season-low 53 points in the loss to Texas A&M. The Razorbacks just couldn't
find their stride on the offensive end, trailing at the half (35-33) for the
first time in seven games. The second half proved to be even worse, as
Arkansas netted a season-low 20 points in the frame. Madden was the only
player to reach double digits in the loss, netting 12 points. Coty Clarke just
missed a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds.
Florida has shown itself vulnerable on the road although the two losses have
come at powerhouses Wisconsin and UConn. Still, the Razorbacks are a team on
the rise and playing at home has given them a huge advantage. If Florida
doesn't shoot the ball well early on, Arkansas could post a big win here.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Arkansas 75, Florida 71
01/11 11:37:06 ET
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