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Florida gets revenge on Arkansas

Florida’s Kenny Boynton splits Arkansas’ Mardracus Wade, left, and Hunter Mickelson on a drive to the basket in the first half.

Associated Press

Florida’s Kenny Boynton splits Arkansas’ Mardracus Wade, left, and Hunter Mickelson on a drive to the basket in the first half.

GAINESVILLE — Florida junior guard Kenny Boynton believes there's one thing you can say about the Gators: They are a resilient bunch.

Four days after allowing Missouri to rally from a 13-point second-half deficit, No. 5 Florida bounced back with a 71-54 victory over Arkansas in front of a sold-out O'Connell Center on Saturday night.

With the victory and Alabama's 97-94 triple-overtime loss to LSU on Saturday, the Gators (22-4, 12-2 SEC) have a two-game lead in the conference race with four games left.

"I didn't worry about our team coming out to play," said Boynton, who had 12 points, five rebounds and two assists. "Coming off the loss to Missouri, it definitely felt good to come out and get a win. It says we're able to regroup."

The Gators' victory came with balanced scoring and a rediscovered inside game. Florida had four players in double figures, led by senior guard Mike Rosario with 15. And unlike several recent games, UF found a way to get junior center Patric Young into the flow. He had 14 points (on 7-of-10 shooting from the field) and seven rebounds.

"It's a total choice by him," coach Billy Donovan said of Young's performance. "It is a commitment. As big and strong as he is, there is no reason he shouldn't demand the ball every time when he gets down inside."

With Arkansas (17-10, 8-6) star forward Marshawn Powell in foul trouble most of the game, Florida outscored the Razorbacks 42-18 in the paint.

UF, which suffered a season-worst 80-69 loss in Fayetteville 18 days earlier, led 32-28 at halftime. Arkansas outscored the Gators 15-7 in the final 6:44 of the half while Florida scored four in the final 4:22.

The Gators shot 40.6 percent from the field and made just 4 of 13 3-pointers in the first half. Florida was aided by nine first-half Arkansas turnovers.

But in the second half, UF shot 57.1 percent from the field in the first 12 minutes.

"It was one of those days where especially in the second half, it was all going to Florida," Arkansas coach Mike Anderson.

Antonya English can be reached at english@tampabay.com.

. fast facts

Florida's Frazier has concussion

GAINESVILLE — Freshman guard Michael Frazier II, a former Plant High standout, suffered a concussion against Arkansas and is out indefinitely.

Frazier collided with teammate Scottie Wilbekin's knee with 11:42 left in the game. He was briefly unconscious before team trainer Duke Werner began getting responses from him. He was eventually helped off and taken to the locker room.

"He's out," coach Billy Donovan said. "I don't know when he'll be back. … Obviously there will be baseline tests that they'll do on him."

Frazier has been instrumental in helping the Gators overcome the loss of junior F Will Yeguete to knee surgery two weeks ago. He was named SEC freshman of the week last week after a season-high 18 points against Auburn. He has played in all 25 games this season, averaging 6.4 points.

Antonya English, Times staff writer

Florida gets revenge on Arkansas 02/23/13 [Last modified: Saturday, February 23, 2013 11:02pm]
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