Photo by Andy Lyons / Getty Images

The Florida Gators faced the real possibility of missing the NCAA Tournament. Many prognosticators had determined UF needed to win against Arkansas in the second round of the SEC Tournament.

Facing a must-win scenario, the Gators did just that.

Florida earned a 66-50 win over Arkansas that was much closer than the final score indicates, thanks to a 12-2 run over the final 4:12 of the game.

At halftime the Gators held a slim two-point margin at 30-28, but defensive intensity and the strong post-season debut of Keyontae Johnson pushed the Gators to the victory.

Florida held a ten point lead with 3:21 to play before freshman Andrew Nembhard drained a three to put the final nail in the Arkansas coffin.

Johnson finished with a career high 20 points on 8-14 from the field and also contributed a team high with 12 rebounds. Little Rock native KeVaughn Allen added 17 points to the effort.

Allen will finish his career with a 7-1 mark against his home town team, whom he averaged 15.9 points per game against.

Florida’s defense only allowed the Razorbacks to shoot at a 37% clip and limited them to 4-16 from beyond the three-point line.

Fast stats:

  • The Gators made 21-55 from the field for 38% and connected on 8-22 (36%) from deep.
  • Florida outrebounded Arkansas 40-26 and grabbed 18 offensive boards.
  • Senior Kevarrius Hayes added 8 points and 7 rebounds
  • Andrew Nembhard scored six points, collected 8 assists, and only turned the ball over once.

What’s next:

Florida will face #1 seed LSU at 1:00 PM on Friday. LSU is currently going through the adversity of their coach being suspended as the FBI investigates potential recruiting violations.

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