FINAL — The Razorbacks played with fire in the second half but held on to win their seventh straight in the league on Tuesday with a 75-64 win over Florida.
Davonte Davis led Arkansas with 18 points, Justin Smith added 15, and Moses Moody and Jalen Tate each added 14. Smith finished with six rebounds, five steals, four assists and two blocks as well. Jaylin Williams had 10 rebounds.
Arkansas is now 17-5 overall and 9-4 in the SEC ahead of Saturday's scheduled game at Texas A&M.
We will have more from this game later on WholeHogSports.com.
:28, 2H — Tre Mann misses a three-pointer and it is rebounded by Devo Davis. He is fouled and hits both free throws. Arkansas’ lead is 72-64.
:42, 2H — Jalen Tate is credited with a steal after forcing a jump ball. Possession goes to Arkansas with a four-point lead. Colin Castleton then fouls Moses Moody near midcourt. He hits both free throws. Razorbacks up 70-64.
1:02, 2H — Jalen Tate milks the shot clock as best he can then gets into the lane and draws a foul on Anthony Duruji. He splits the pair. Razorbacks up four.
1:28, 2H — Jalen Tate hit with a tough whistle and Tre Mann hits two free throws. Razorbacks up 67-64.
1:36, 2H — Moses Moody adds two free throws following a big-time block by Justin Smith at the rim. Smith has 14 points, six rebounds, four assists, two blocks and four steals. He’s played like a grown man tonight. Razorbacks lead by five.
2:16, 2H — Big shot from Jalen Tate late in the shot clock. He got that shot because Moses Moody missed a three-ball, rebounded his miss and reset the offense. Tate has 13 points on 6 of 10 shooting.
3:28, 2H — Arkansas gets a rare defensive stop in the second half and it leads to a runout for Devo Davis. His layup gives the Razorbacks a 63-62 lead. Davis has 16 points. Justin Smith has 14, and Jaylin Williams has 10 rebounds to go with four points. Tyree Appleby has 16 and Colin Castleton has 13.
4:40, 2H — Moses Moody was fouled hard in the left corner prior to getting a shot off then missed a free throw. Tyree Appleby gave Florida its first lead of the night. Gators up 62-61. They have erased a 15-point deficit in this half.
5:21, 2H — Justin Smith recorded his fourth steal of the night, then Moses Moody missed a dunk on the other end. Florida then adds a layup. Gators are down one. Tyree Appleby has 14 points. Florida has hit 9 of its last 10 shots and is 61.1% from the floor this half.
6:48, 2H — Connor Vanover hit with a foul on Colin Castleton and he hits two free throws. Arkansas’ lead is back to three.
7:04, 2H — Colin Castleton hit a layup out of the timeout — Mike White is so good at this part of the game — then Justin Smith scored again with a right-handed jump hook. Razorbacks lead 61-56.
7:44, 2H — Justin Smith with a big score to slow the Gators’ roll. Smith is up to 12 points on 6 of 8 shooting. He also has five rebounds and four assists. Arkansas up 59-54 at the under-8 timeout. Devo Davis leads all scorers with 14 points, and Jalen Tate has 11.
8:49, 2H — Scottie Lewis adds a tough layup at the rim and Jalen Tate misses one on the other end. Florida within three after a Noah Locke short midrange shot. Arkansas up 57-54.
9:48, 2H — Connor Vanover with a big three-ball from the right wing to push the lead back to nine. But Arkansas commits a turnover on its next possession and the Gators cash in with a layup.
10:15, 2H — Lots of action in the last few minutes. Following the Moses Moody three-ball, Tyree Appleby scored at the rim, then Justin Smith scored on a baseline cut and feed from Devo Davis. Tre Mann buried a three on the Gators’ next possession. Colin Castleton will be at the line when play resumes. Arkansas’ lead is 54-48. Florida is 6 of 12 from the floor since the break while the Razorbacks are 6 of 17.
12:25, 2H — Tre Mann and Anthony Duruji have added back-to-back buckets and Florida is within 49-43. Well, until Moses Moody hits a three-pointer. What a timely shot from the freshman. Razorbacks lead by nine.
14:59, 2H — Devo Davis missed a runner in the lane, but Jaylin Williams dove to the rim and dunked the miss emphatically with his left hand, I believe. Arkansas up 49-39.
15:25, 2H — Devo Davis has been phenomenal tonight. He snaps Florida’s 9-0 run with a driving left-handed runner in the lane to give him 14 points. Razorbacks up eight at the first media timeout of the second half. The Gators opened the second half 2 of 3 from the floor and 5 of 5 at the line.
16:32, 2H — Make it a 9-0 run. Florida grabbed an offensive rebound, got fouled and hit two free throws. Colin Castleton then added a layup off a Jaylin Williams turnover. Eric Musselman calls for timeout with Arkansas up 45-39. Razorbacks are 1 of their last 8 from the floor.
17:28, 2H — Tyree Appleby hits a runner in the lane off the glass and adds a free throw. Florida is on a 5-0 run and has pulled within 45-35. Appleby is the first Gators player in double figures with 10.
18:06, 2H — Jalen Tate adds a layup to extend Arkansas’ lead to 45-30. Mike White calls for time. The Razorbacks are applying some serious pressure tonight. This might be the best defensive performance from this group, and there have been a few gems. Devo Davis leads all scorers with 12, and Tate has 11. They are a combined 10 of 16 from the floor. Arkansas is good when those two are efficient. Justin Smith also has a game-high four assists.
18:38, 2H — Connor Vanover was fouled going up for a layup and he missed his first free throw of the season. He had made his first 19 this year. He hit the second. Arkansas leads 43-30.
19:40, 2H — Devo Davis opens the second half with a midrange jumper from the left elbow. He banked it in, but it still counts. Arkansas up 12. Davis has 12 points to lead all scorers.
HALF — Terrific half from the Razorbacks and they lead 40-30 at the break. Justin Smith, following a Florida bucket with under 10 seconds left, dribbled all the way downcourt to the three-point line then found Connor Vanover for a lob dunk to cap the half. Smith has eight points, five rebounds and three assists, and Devo Davis has a game-high 10 points. Jalen Tate hit some big shots in the half, too, and he has nine points. Tyree Appleby has seven points to lead the Gators.
1:09, 1H — Noah Lock canned a three from the left wing and Florida added another bucket at the rim to pull within eight points, but Jalen Tate got a tough layup to drop. Razorbacks lead 38-28.
2:23, 1H — Devo Davis has added two scores in a hurry, pushing Arkansas’ lead to 13, 36-23. The Razorbacks are playing really, really sound basketball on both ends. Arkansas leads 8-0 in fastbreak points.
3:37, 1H — Little bit of a broken possession from Arkansas, but Moses Moody found Jalen Tate in the right short corner for a jumper. Tate has seven points and Moody has a pair of assists.
4:00, 1H — Omar Payne scores on a baseline out of bounds play, giving the Gators their first bucket since the 11:07 mark. Jalen Tate then commits a bad turnover inbounding the ball after the score. Arkansas leads Florida 30-19 at the under-4 timeout. The Gators are 2 of 12 from deep and 5 of 18 inside the arc. Razorbacks are shooting 44% to this point and holding Florida to .655 points per possession. Gators have eight scores over 29 possessions.
5:02, 1H — Justin Smith puts in a floater near the rim to push Arkansas’ edge to 30-17. Smith has a team-high eight points on 4 of 5 shooting. Razorbacks are on a 7-0 run and have held Florida to 1 of its last 15 from the floor.
5:43, 1H — Jaylin Williams adds a pair of free throws and Arkansas’ lead is 28-17. Seven of the nine Razorbacks who have seen the floor tonight have scored.
7:08, 1H — Jalen Tate, who caught a pass from Moses Moody near the rim, kicked it back out and found Moody for a three from the left wing. Arkansas up 26-17. Moody has five points.
7:29, 1H — Moses Moody snaps Arkansas’ long scoreless streak with a runner in the lane off of an offensive rebound from a Vance Jackson missed three-ball. Jalen Tate then hits a three-pointer from the top of the key off an assist from Moody. Tate has five points. Arkansas up 23-15 at the under-8 media timeout. Florida is shooting 25% (6 of 24) and the Razorbacks are 10 of 22 (45.5%).
11:07, 1H — Tyree Appleby knocked down a three-pointer from the left wing to pull Florida within 18-15. He is now 1 of 4 from the floor and 1 of 3 from deep. Razorbacks fans are booing him every time he touches the ball tonight. Meanwhile, Arkansas has missed its last seven shots.
11:24, 1H — Both teams have gone cold over the last few minutes. Florida has not scored in 3:04. Arkansas doesn’t have a point in 2:04. Been impressed with the Razorbacks’ defense to this point. Florida is 5 of 17 from the floor and offense is tough for the Gators right now. Arkansas leads 18-12. Devo Davis and Justin Smith have a game-high six points, and Colin Castleton has five for Florida.
13:28, 1H — Devo Davis blows up a Florida dribble handoff on a baseline out of bounds play and comes up with a steal. He then finds JD Notae for a layup on the break. Razorbacks’ lead is six. Arkansas is up 6-0 in fastbreak points so far.
13:54, 1H — Devo Davis grabs a missed three by Florida and attacks in transition at a good pace, gets to the rim and gets fouled. He made both free throws. Arkansas leads 16-12. Davis has made his last six free throws. That’s a big plus for the Razorbacks.
15:10, 1H — Colin Castleton completed the three-point play, but Arkansas answered moments later with a Connor Vanover lob for a dunk. Arkansas up 12-10. Vanover missed a three from the top of the key the next time down, misses, but Justin Smith taps it in. It’s 14-10, Arkansas.
15:49, 1H — Colin Castleton enters the game for Florida and immediately makes an impact. He scored at the rim over Connor Vanover and drew a foul. He’ll be at the line when play resumes. Razorbacks’ lead is 10-9 at the first media timeout. Justin Smith and Devo Davis each have four points for Arkansas, and four Florida players have a bucket so far. Razorbacks are 5 of 7 shooting, and the Gators are 4 of 9 with two offensive rebounds.
17:11, 1H — Devo Davis with his first score of the game. It comes in transition off a nice feed from Jalen Tate. He then scores at the rim in transition again moments later. Arkansas up 10-5.
17:44, 1H — Moses Moody missed a midrange jumper but Justin Smith cleaned it up and added a layup. Razorbacks lead 6-5. Anthony Duruji has hit a three for Florida then Tre Mann hit a shot, too.
19:06, 1H — Jalen Tate hits a short midrange jumper to get the Razorbacks on the board. Always a good sign when he can knock down that shot. Hasn’t been the greatest look for him lately. Justin Smith then adds a layup. It’s 4-0, Arkansas.
Arkansas’ starting lineup: Jalen Tate, Moses Moody, Davonte Davis, Justin Smith and Connor Vanover.
This lineup has allowed .78 points per possession over 68 defensive possessions during the team’s six-game SEC win streak, according to HoopLens. Offensively, it has scored at a 1.09 PPP clip.
The Razorbacks are ranked in the AP poll for the first time since Jan. 1, 2018. This is Arkansas’ first game in Bud Walton Arena as a ranked team since March 2015, and the program is 6-2 this century as a ranked team at home.
Moody continues to lead the team in scoring at 16.3 per game. He has also been getting it done on the defensive end, limiting opponents to 11 of 50 shooting the last seven games when he is the nearest defender. He gave up 12 scores in the two games before this stretch.
The Razorbacks have five players currently averaging double figures in scoring — Moody, JD Notae, Smith, Tate and Desi Sills. Tate is averaging 4.4 assists and 1.4 steals while Vanover is rejecting 2.0 shots per game. He has 18 blocks the last six games.
Arkansas forward Abayomi Iyiola (ACL) is dressed out tonight and going through warmups with the team. He has a big brace over the knee he injured last summer.
Florida’s starters: Tyree Appleby, Noah Locke, Tre Mann, Omar Payne and Anthony Duruji.
Tonight is the Gators’ first game since Feb. 3 against South Carolina. They lost 72-66 at home just days after winning at West Virginia in the Big 12/SEC Challenge at the end of January. Florida is 10-5 overall and 6-4 in the SEC.
The Gators own the nation’s best block percentage at 16.2. Colin Castleton (6-11), who is not starting tonight, and Payne (6-10) are the two main shot blockers Arkansas needs to be aware of, but Scottie Lewis will also block a shot here and there. Castleton has blocked five-plus shots in four of the last six games he has played in.
Mann leads the team in scoring at 14.5 per game and in assists at 3.8, and Castleton also leads the team in rebounds (5.6). Appleby averages a team-high 1.8 steals per game.