The 68 points Florida scored were enough to win them their first SEC Tournament game.
It might not win them a second, though.
Kasey Hill led the Gators with 18, Mike White’s club shot 8-20 from three point land as a team and Florida scraped by Arkansas, 68-61 in the SEC Tournament’s opening round. The win sets up a rematch with top seeded Texas A&M tomorrow at 1pm; the Aggies won the first game in College Station in January.
But if the Gators don’t pick it up offensively, it won’t be much of a game.
The Gators opened the game by scoring seven points in the first ten minutes, and subsequently suffered through three more scoring droughts of four minutes or longer. Though he frequently takes a beating from the fans, (sometimes deservedly so) it was actually Hill who powered the Gators tonight. Everybody knows what often happens when Hill drives the lane, but those off balance layups were falling today. I can’t even claim to know why today they went down and the other 30 games or so they didn’t, but hey, I’ll take it.
More importantly, Arkansas couldn’t capitalize because they were even less successful than Florida at putting the ball into the basket, however they tried. Dusty Hannah accounted for more than half the Razorbacks’ points, with 33, and hit all two of Arkansas’s three point attempts on the day. The rest of the Razorbacks’ team? 10-39 from the field with 28 points on the day combined.
Despite their offensive woes, Florida slowly built a six point halftime lead and eventually got it up to double digits thanks to a couple of threes from Dorian Finney-Smith. Arkansas made one last push, but couldn’t get any closer than four, and that was that; an ugly, low scoring game that frankly doesn’t need any more details than that concluded with Florida on top, and hanging onto their NCAA Tournament lives by a thread.
Now to see if they can’t vault themselves higher, let go of the thread and grab the top ledge of the mountain…