Fayetteville, Ark. – Mike Anderson got his first big win as head coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks on Tuesday night leading the Hogs to an 80-69 upset over No. 2 Florida.
The Razorbacks, a different team at home than on the road, extended one of college basketball’s best home court advantages during the 2012-2013 season to a 14-1 record at Bud Walton Arena in the win.
Florida had won 10 in a row and were winners of eight straight conference games with a lowest winning total of 17 during their run but could not handle the hot shooting and pressure defense of the Razorbacks Tuesday night.
Arkansas was led by B.J. Young’s 13 points off the bench with 11 points each from freshman forward Michael Qualls and junior forward Marshawn Powell.
The story of the game was the hot shooting for the Hogs from the game’s opening tip off hitting 15 of their first 20 shots. Arkansas, typically a poor three-point shooting team, hit 8 of 18 attempts (.444) to extend the lead early putting pressure on the Gators for the rest of the game.
Florida responded with a hot shooting night of their own from behind the arc hitting 10 of 27 attempts (.370).
The Hogs also hung with Florida on the boards grabbing 30 to the Gators’ 31 rebounds.
Florida doubled the amount of turnovers committed by Arkansas losing 16 possessions to only eight by the Hogs. Arkansas capitalized on the Gators’ turnovers scoring 21 points.
Florida senior guard Mike Rosario had a game-high 15 points. Scottie Wilbekin added 14 points and seven rebounds in the loss.
The game was not without several highlight plays for the Hogs including a fast-break two handed dunk by Hunter Mickelson and a near impossible one-handed alley-oop dunk on another fast-break by Coty Clarke off a pass from Ky Madden.
Arkansas improved to 14-8, 5-4 on the year with the win and dropped Florida to 18-3, 8-1. The Gators will have a chance to avenge their loss come Feb. 23 when Arkansas travels to Florida for a showdown in Gainesville.
Up next for the Razorbacks is the Vanderbilt Commodores (8-12, 2-6) in Nashville Feb. 9. Arkansas is 0-7 away from Bud Walton Arena.
Florida returns to Gainesville to play Mississippi State (7-13, 2-6) on Saturday.