FAYETTEVILLE – For the second time this season, Arkansas had five players score in double figures, including a career-high 26 points from Jalen Graham and a double-double by Makhi Mitchell (10 points and 10 rebounds), to defeat Florida, 84-65, Saturday afternoon at Bud Walton Arena.
Arkansas, the SEC leader in field goal percentage, shot 57.6 percent from the field and held Florida to 37.3 percent. Of the Razorbacks’ 84 points, 52 points came in the paint. Graham made 12 of his 14 shots in the paint and the Razorbacks threw down seven dunks – two each from Graham and Ricky Council IV.
The offenses for both teams started slowly with the first points being scored at 17:47 by Mitchell. Florida led by five (15-10), with 11:27 left in the first half. The flow picked up and Florida led 23-19 with 8:36 left. From that point, Arkansas took control with an 11-0 run, to lead 30-23, and took a 37-31 lead into the locker room.
The Razorbacks put the game away in the first six minutes of the second half with a 17-2 run and led by at least 18 the rest of the game. Jordan Walsh kicked the scoring off with a 3-pointer and added a dunk while Mitchell scored six in the spurt.
Joining Graham and Mitchell in double digits were Council (15), Anthony Black (14) and Nick Smith Jr. (10). Graham and Council added seven rebounds each while Black had five boards, three assists and three steals.
Arkansas stays at home to host Georgia on Tuesday (Feb. 21) at Bud Walton Arena. Tipoff is set for 8 pm (CT) and the game will be televised on SEC Network.
FIRST HALF: Arkansas: 37 – Florida: 31
• Arkansas used an 11-0 run to take a 30-23 lead, capped by a Nick Smith Jr., old-fashion, 3-point play.
• Arkansas shot an impressive 55.6% and held Florida to 30% shooting.
• Florida stayed in the game by making 12-of-16 from the free throw line.
• Both teams combined to shoot 1-of-16 from the 3-point line. Florida was 1-of-11 and Arkansas was 0-of-5.
• Jalen Graham led Arkansas with 14 points (6-of-7 FG).
• Makhi Mitchell had eight rebounds and two blocked shots.
SECOND HALF: Arkansas: 47 – Florida: 34
• In the 17-2 run, Arkansas bettered its first-half shooting by making 59.4% of its shots.
• Arkansas out-rebounded the Gators 20-10 in the half which led to the Razorbacks out-scoring the Gators 13-4 on second-chance points.
• Graham scored 12 of his 26 in the half while Council and Black each had nine.
• Arkansas wore new uniforms for today’s “Red Out.” The Hogs wore cardinal versions of its 1994 Throwback Uniforms. Arkansas is 4-0 in “Red Out” games in the Musselman era.
• Florida is one of three SEC teams that have a winning record against the Razorbacks. The Gators now lead 26-15 but Arkansas has won three straight in the series and is 10-7 versus the Gators in Fayetteville.
• Arkansas’ starting lineup was Anthony Black – Nick Smith Jr. – Davonte Davis – Jordan Walsh – Makhi Mitchell for the first time.
• Arkansas won the tip.
• Makhi Mitchell scored the first points, a layup at 17:47.
• Ricky Council IV was the first Razorback sub.
• Arkansas is 10-0 this year when leading at the half in Bud Walton Arena. In the Eric Musselman era, Arkansas is 48-1 when leading at the half at home.
• Arkansas’ shooting percentage of .576 was the ninth-best percentage by the Razorbacks in an SEC game in program history.
• Arkansas has shot at least 44% from the field in 11 straight games and has shot over 50% nine times this season, including four of the last seven games.
• Arkansas blocked six shots. The Hogs entered the game 13th in the NCAA in blocked shots (5.3 avg.) and have blocked at least five shots in eight straight games.