In the Lane:

Allen gets best of UA once again

By: Tom Murphy
Published: Thursday, January 10, 2019
Florida senior KeVaughn Allen (left) is guarded by Arkansas freshman Isaiah Joe during a game Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019, in Fayetteville.
Photo by J.T. Wampler
Florida senior KeVaughn Allen (left) is guarded by Arkansas freshman Isaiah Joe during a game Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019, in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas native KeVaughn Allen bedeviled the home-state Hogs once again Wednesday in a 57-51 victory for Florida at Walton Arena.

Allen, who was booed every time he touched the ball or shot free throws, opened and closed the scoring for the Gators and finished with a team-high 18 points, including 11 of 12 free throws.

Allen said he played much more aggressive than he did in a home loss to South Carolina on Saturday.

"I felt like I was just driving the ball and either shooting it or getting guys wide-open shots," Allen said. "I felt like it just helped the team tonight."

Allen, who had 20-plus family and friends in attendance, said he heard the booing.

"That doesn't bother me," he said. "I just laugh through it all."

The 6-2 senior guard from North Little Rock scored nearly eight points more than his season average of 10.3 points per game.

"He was the best player on the court, I thought," Florida Coach Mike White said. "I say that, and Mason Jones was pretty good.

"KeVaughn was our best player tonight. We gave him the game ball. He handled the pressure and played with poise, drew fouls. He's one of the best free-throw shooters -- heck, he might be the best -- in the history of our school."

Allen hit a fadeaway jump shot over Daniel Gafford for Florida's first points of the game, then closed things out by making 4 of 4 free throws in the final 12 seconds.

Allen has scored in double figures in all of his career games against Arkansas.

Jones goes big

Mason Jones scored a career-high 30 points to become the eighth Razorback to hit the 30-point mark under Coach Mike Anderson. Jones made 7 of 13 shots, including 4 of 9 from three-point range, and 12 of 13 free throws.

Jones is the second University of Arkansas player to score 30-plus points this season after Isaiah Joe had 34 in a victory over Florida International.

Turnover trouble

Arkansas committed an uncharacteristic 16 turnovers and amassed just 10 assists.

The Hogs had 12 first-half turnovers, including a season-high 3 from point guard Jalen Harris, who entered the game ranked No. 2 in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio (6.37).

Harris finished with three turnovers and three assists. He had committed two turnovers in five games, one turnover in four games and no turnovers in four games prior to Wednesday night.

Bad lines

The Razorbacks struggled once again from the free-throw line with a 15 of 26 effort for 57.7 percent.

"We got to the free-throw line and didn't make free throws," Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson said. "That comes back to haunt you."

Arkansas went 6 of 10 from the stripe in the first half, then missed 3 of 4 to open the second half.

In SEC games, the Razorbacks are 26 of 48 (54.2 percent). Florida made 15 of 19 free throws for 78.9 percent.

Bench blast

The Arkansas bench, which had outperformed opponents the past couple of games, was badly outdone by the Gators' reserves.

Florida's bench players outscored their counterparts 10-0. According to Hogstats.com, it was the first time the Arkansas bench has not scored during the SEC era.

Arkansas' reserves shot 0 of 10 from the field, 0 of 4 from the free-throw line. Florida's backups shot 4 of 15, and 1 of 1 from the line.

Big drought

Arkansas went a span of 7:37 without scoring in the first half to see a 6-2 lead evaporate into a 12-6 deficit. Daniel Gafford hit 1 of 2 free throws at the 8:20 mark to break the scoreless streak, which started after Adrio Bailey's dunk at the 15:57 mark.

The streak featured 0-of-9 shooting, including 0 of 6 from three-point range, and airballs from distance by Desi Sills and Isaiah Joe.

Arkansas missed 10 consecutive shots during a stretch of 9:46 between Bailey's dunk and a driving layup by Jalen Harris.

Charge up

Isaiah Joe drew his ninth charging foul early in the game on a drive by Florida guard Andrew Nembhard. Joe has now taken nine charges, one short of the team-high 10 by Gabe Osabuohien.

Both Joe and Osabuohien were called for blocking fouls later in the half.

Series update

Florida extended its lead in the series to 24-12, doubling the number of Arkansas' victories. The Gators prevented Arkansas from winning back-to-back games in the series for the first time since 1995-96. The Razorbacks' lead is now 8-7 in games played in Fayetteville.

Talking 3

The Razorbacks opened the game 0 of 9 from three-point range until Mason Jones connected from the left wing at the 5:58 mark. That three-point shot extended the Razorbacks' streak to 991 consecutive games with a made three-pointer.

Looking in

The game attracted 11 NBA scouts from 10 teams, including former Razorback guard Jeff Peterson for the Atlanta Hawks. Scouts were also scheduled to be in attendance for the Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks, two from the Minnesota Timberwolves, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder and Washington Wizards.

Lineup items

Coach Mike Anderson used a starting lineup of guards Isaiah Joe, Jalen Harris and Mason Jones, and forwards Adrio Bailey and Daniel Gafford for the 13th time in 14 games. The only lineup change this season came when Reggie Chaney started at forward for Bailey in a 73-70 victory over Texas State.

Tip-ins

• Arkansas forward Daniel Gafford failed to score at least 10 points for the first time this season.

• Arkansas posted its lowest home point total of the Mike Anderson era. The previous low had been 54 points in a 75-54 loss to LSU on Jan. 10.

Sports on 01/10/2019

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