Happy homecoming: Allen leads Florida over Arkansas
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) Florida guard KeVaughn Allen had a triumphant return to Arkansas, where he played high school ball, scoring 21 points as the No. 25 Gators beat the Razorbacks 81-72 on Thursday night in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams.
Daryl Macon, who scored 22 points, did what he could to keep the Razorbacks close, but Allen drained a 3-pointer nearly every time Florida needed to put down a threat.
Kevarrius Hayes' dunk and Allen's 3-pointer made it 63-52 after Arkansas had trimmed the lead to six. After Moses Kingsley cut Florida's edge to 65-58, Allen drained another 3 with 6:35 left to kill the Razorbacks' momentum. Florida (10-3) led by double digits until the final 11 seconds.
Macon scored 22 points for Arkansas (11-2). Kingsley had 13 points and 14 rebounds, and Anton Beard scored 10 points. Beard and Allen each went to North Little Rock High School.
Allen had already drawn boos from the crowd during the pregame introductions, and the sizable crowd was even less welcoming as he shot 5 of 9 from beyond the arc.
Devin Robinson added 17 points for Florida and Kasey Hill and Hayes each had 10.
Florida rattled Arkansas into 13 turnovers, including 10 in the first half while taking a 44-35 lead, but the Gators aided the Razorbacks considerably by hitting only 12 of their 21 free throws.
Arkansas has won 11 games but still has only one victory against a team from a major conference.
Florida will play Ole Miss next Tuesday in Gainesville. The Rebels lost to Kentucky in their SEC opener Thursday.
Arkansas travels to Tennessee, which beat Texas A&M in its SEC game Thursday.