GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Kenny Boynton scored 20 points, Vernon Macklin added 13 and Florida rolled Arkansas 75-43 Saturday night for the team’s seventh win in eight games.
The Gators dominated from the opening tip, scoring at will in the paint while building a double-digit lead and never letting up.
Alex Tyus chipped in 13 points and seven rebounds for Florida, and Chandler Parsons added a career-high 15 boards.
The Gators (15-4, 4-1 Southeastern Conference) followed their best opening half of the season with an equally impressive performance after the break. They turned a 39-17 halftime lead into a 30-point beatdown with more than 11 minutes remaining and coasted from there.
Coach John Pelphrey called timeouts and subbed personnel, but nothing worked as the Razorbacks (12-6, 2-3) dropped consecutive games for the first time this season.
Delvon Johnson led Arkansas with 12 points. Marshawn Powell added 10.
The Razorbacks shot 30 percent from the field, missing their first 10 shots from 3-point range and even struggling inside.
Johnson and Powell were the only Arkansas players to make more than two shots. Two of leading scorer Rotnei Clarke’s three shots were air balls, and he finished scoreless for the second time this season.
The Gators were much more accurate. They shot a sizzling 57 percent in the first half and finished 30 of 61 (49 percent) from the floor. It was a considerably better showing than the one the Gators had Thursday at Auburn. They won 45-40 despite making only 15 baskets and missing 21 3-pointers.
Florida got things rolling early.
Macklin scored the team’s first eight points, hitting two hook shots, a layup and then failing to convert a three-point play. Tyus took over from there, following a jumper with a dunk and then using a nifty spin move to create space on the baseline and sink a 15-footer.
Macklin stayed hot with a one-handed slam, then added a crowd-pleasing block on the other end.
The Gators hit 11 of their first 16 shots while building a double-digit lead, and only one of those came from 3-point range.
Auburn stymied Florida with a 2-3 zone Thursday. The Tigers held Florida to 5 of 26 from behind the arc. Arkansas, though, played mostly man-to-man defense, and the Gators took advantage.
Macklin made his first five shots inside, and Tyus connected on his first four.
The result was Florida’s best half of the season. The Gators had nine assists, three blocks and just two turnovers in the opening 20 minutes. They built a 23-point lead on Boynton’s third 3-pointer with 1:27 remaining in the first half and kept the momentum after halftime.
When the final buzzer sounded, Arkansas was on the wrong end of a second drubbing this season. The Razorbacks lost by 33 at Texas earlier this month. This was even more painful for Pelphrey, who coached under Florida’s Billy Donovan for six years in Gainesville.