Looking to build off of a vital road win at Alabama on Tuesday night, the Florida Gator basketball team returns to Gainesville to host Arkansas on Saturday afternoon. Tip-off is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. at the O’Connell Center with national coverage of the game airing on CBS. The Baltimore Gator Club will NOT be hosting a watch party for this weekend’s game, but will meet again next weekend Feb. 7 for Florida’s game vs. No. 1 Kentucky
Despite leading by 13 at halftime, the visiting Gators (11-9, 4-3 SEC) needed a dunk by junior Dorian Finney-Smith with 17 seconds remaining to get past the Crimson Tide on Tuesday evening in Tuscaloosa. The dunk accounted for Finney-Smith’s only points of the game, and then the junior came up big on the other end, blocking Levi Randall’s jumper to preserve the win.
Redshirt junior Eli Carter led the Gator offense against the Tide, scoring 13 points, while sophomore Chris Walker added 12 points. Finney-Smith’s lacking offense was a departure from previous conference games but he is still averaging 12.6 points per SEC game. Junior shooting guard Michael Frazier II has also caught fire for UF lately and is averaging 13.4 points per game this season.
Arkansas (15-4, 4-2 SEC) defeated Tennessee at home on Tuesday night to extend its winning streak to three games. Bobby Portis and Michael Qualls each turned in a 17-point performance while Jabril Durham and Anton Beard each added ten. Through Tuesday night, Portis is leading the SEC in scoring, averaging 17.5 points per game.
The Gators have won the last two meetings with the Razorbacks, and hold a 17-6 advantage in the series under with Billy Donovan as their head coach. Last season Scottie Wilbekin hit a jumper with two seconds remaining to force overtime and then UF held off a late Arkansas comeback to escape Bud Walton arena with a road win, 84-82.