Arkansas drops conference opener to Florida in late game, 81-72

Arkansas fell to 11-2 (0-1) on the season after dropping its SEC opener inside Bud Walton Arena on Thursday night, 81-72, to the Florida Gators.

In the opening period, Florida had an answer for every Arkansas basket. The Razorbacks were only able to build a three point lead, before the Gators took it into the halftime break up, 44-35.

Daryl Macon lead the Razorbacks in the first half with 12 points, after scoring nine of Arkansas’ first 12 points, sinking his first three shots from behind the arc in a span of one minute, 23 seconds. Moses Kingsley was all over the boards in the opening frame, pulling down seven first-half rebounds.

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Arkansas opened the second half on a 7-1 run to cut the deficit to three, but the Razorbacks were unable to fight off the Gators. Florida built a 16 point lead late in the second half and Arkansas could not recover.

Macon finished with a game-high 22 points, his second 20-point effort of the season, to make it six straight games scoring in double figures. The Little Rock native also recorded four rebounds.

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The Southeastern Conference’s active leader in double-doubles, Kingsley recorded his third of the season, 20th of his career with a 13 point, 14 rebound effort. The big man also had four swats to extend his streak to 43 of the last 46 games with a blocked shot, including multiple blocks in nine this season.

The Razorbacks continue to get good production from the bench as Arkansas has recorded 20-plus points in nine straight games, after a 20 point performance against the Gators. Arkansas has yet to trail in bench points in that nine-game stretch.

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Anton Beard led all scorers off the bench with a 10 point performance, scoring in double figures in three straight contests.

UP NEXT
Arkansas will go on the road for its next two games as the Razorbacks travel to Knoxville, Tennessee, to face the Tennessee Volunteers on Tuesday, Jan. 3 at 5:30 p.m. CT on the SEC Network. The Razorbacks will conclude their two game road trip by playing the Kentucky Wildcats in Lexington on Thursday, Jan. 5 at 7:30 p.m. CT on the SEC Network.