Florida stifles Arkansas in 90-68 drubbing

Reserve guard Riley Kugel led five players in double figures for Florida in its 90-68 domination of visiting Arkansas on Saturday afternoon in Gainesville, Fla.

Kugel scored 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting and Tyrese Samuel added 17, Zyon Pullin 15, Will Richard 13, and Walter Clayton Jr. 11 for the Gators (11-5, 1-2 Southeastern Conference).

Samuel also grabbed 11 rebounds for his seventh double-double of the season as the Gators dominated the boards 48-31 and points in the paint 38-28.

Freshman Layden Blocker scored a career-high 14 points to lead the Razorbacks (9-7, 0-3), whose losing streak has reached a season-long three games. Jeremiah Davenport added 13 points, Travon Mark and Joseph Pinion scored 12 each, and Jalen Graham 10 for the Hogs.

Poor shooting did in Arkansas, which finished 23 of 61 from the field overall (37.7 percent) and 5 of 15 from 3-point range to Florida’s 33-of-67 (49.3) and 9-of-25 shooting from deep.

The Gators opened the second half with a 10-4 surge that Samuel capped with resounding one-handed dunk off an alley-oop pass from Pullin for a 57-37 lead, and the Razorbacks never recovered.

The best the Hogs could do the rest of the way was get their deficit down to 14 points at 58-44 at the 14:33 mark, but the Gators answered with 3-pointers from Kugel and Richard to re-establish a 20-point cushion.

Florida’s biggest lead was 90-65 entering the final minute of the game.

The Gators dominated early, going on an 18-2 run that gave them a 27-9 cushion approaching the midpoint of the first half. The Razorbacks were 1-for-9 from the field during that span while the Gators were 9 of 13.

But the Hogs went to a matchup zone defense, made some substitutions, and began to find the range, going 7-for-9 to cut their deficit to single digits at 34-25 with 5:39 left in the half.

Florida’s lead, however, was back in double digits 46-33 at the break.