Beyond the arc: 3 takeaways from UF’s 68-61 win over Arkansas

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Some observations following Florida’s 68-61 win over Arkansas in the SEC Tournament.

— It was interesting to see how Florida sophomore center John Egbunu adapted his game with his shooting thumb in the brace. Egbunu did some of the intangible things better on the court because he wasn’t as consumed with scoring. Two hustle plays late in the first half come to mind, one when he tracked down a rebound on a missed free throw by Kasey Hill and another when he slammed the ball on down on the floor on a rebound attempt in traffic he couldn’t grab, resulting in a 50-50 ball that Florida won. As a result of those two plays, Florida held the ball for a more than 40 seconds stretch in the final minute of the first half and took a 29-23 into halftime on a Hill floater in the lane.

— Credit Florida senior forward Dorian Finney-Smith for keeping his head in the  game in the second half after encountering first-half foul trouble. Finney-Smith sat the final 8:55 of the first half, but scored all 13 of his points in the second half. Finney-Smith hit a couple of 3-pointers early in the second half and some clutch free throws late. Of course, the Gators need for Finney-Smith to avoid foul trouble to have a chance Friday against Texas A&M.

— Sometimes, opposing 3-point percentage comes down to luck. But for the most part, Florida did a decent job running Arkansas off the 3-point line and forcing the Razorbacks into a 2 of 12 shooting game from beyond the arc. Arkansas missed some open looks from 3, which helped.  It was a welcome change, considering opposing teams had shot 45.9 percent from 3-point range (39-85) in UF’s prior five games.