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Florida 71, Arkansas 54: Gators take another pull-away win, but lose Michael Frazier

Florida got its revenge over Arkansas with a strong second half in Gainesville, but the loss of Michael Frazier might be more troubling.


Florida didn't turn on the jets until the second half against Arkansas on Saturday night in the O'Connell Center, but when it did, the result was the same as it has been for every other team that has had to play the Gators in Gainesville: Pain. Florida's XX-XX win avenged its first SEC loss, and got it back to winning ways after a Tuesday loss to Missouri.

But the loss of Michael Frazier II to a concussion during the game may be more significant to Florida in the near future.

Kenny Boynton led Florida with 15 points, and Patric Young was one of three other Gators in double figures with 14 points and eight rebounds. Young and Casey Prather combined to neutralize most of Arkansas' interior game — Prather by taking two charges on Marshawn Powell in the first half, Young by drawing two defensive fouls on Powell early in the second, and both by combining for two blocks and three steals — and the hot shooting that fueled Arkansas' upset of the Gators in Fayetteville didn't travel, as the Hogs hit just six of 27 threes and shot 36.7 percent from the field.

Florida also put the screws to the Razorbacks in the second half, opening on an 18-5 run after leading 32-28 at halftime, and only letting Arkansas top 50 points in the final two minutes.

Frazier added just six points on an unusually cold night for him (two threes on seven tries from distance, two more misses inside the arc, and two turnovers), but his most memorable moment of the night was the bump he took from Scottie Wilbekin's knee while diving for a loose ball in the second half. He stayed down briefly, then was helped to the locker room, and did not return to the game, with Florida announcing his injury as a concussion.

That's just the latest injury for a team that's had one nettlesome ailment after another this season, and it comes at an awful time for the Gators: Their next game is on the road against a hot Tennessee team, and Will Yeguete (who warmed up with Florida tonight) was already going to miss it, as he's more than a week from full health in his recovery from knee surgery.

It's likely that Florida will work with a six-man rotation in that game in Knoxville, shrinking its margin for error considerably if another player goes down or has an off night. But this Florida team is used to surviving and thriving despite adversity: Saturday's win was its 22nd of the year, and its 22nd by double digits.