BASKETBALL: Bad Shooting Ends Florida's Day

FAYETTEVILLE — Florida forward Adam Allen took the pass, stood at the top of the key and launched a 3-pointer.

The shot missed by at least a foot, leading to a loud chant of "Airball!" from the sellout crowd of 19,881 in Bud Walton Arena on Saturday afternoon.

Allen's miss added to Florida's poor shooting performance, and it perhaps best exemplified the offensive woes the No. 20 Gators experienced during an 80-61 loss to Arkansas.

Even when Florida's players had good looks at the basket, they couldn't make their shots. And when it came to shooting from 3-point range, forget about it.

"We had great looks. We couldn't have asked for any better looks," Florida forward Nick Calathes said. "But you know, it was just one of those days when we didn't knock them down."

The Gators, one of the better 3-point shooting teams in the Southeastern Conference, missed their first 13 attempts from long range. Many of the shots were either too short or bounced hard off the back of the rim.

Florida looked out of rhythm early on, something coach Billy Donovan has come to expect from a team featuring five new starters. It's part of the growing pains after all.

Calathes, the Gators' leading scorer, got into early foul trouble. He and his teammates combined to miss all 10 of their 3-point attempts in the first half.

And nothing seemed to be working for the Gators on a day when they scored just 21 points before halftime and endured one of their worst shooting performances of the season.

"I think it's pretty obvious for our team (that) we don't have a lot of different ways to beat you right now," Donovan said. "If we don't shoot the ball really, really well and shoot the ball well from the 3-point line when we have pretty good looks, and then we play against a team that's imposing and physical like Arkansas, it certainly makes it tough for our team."

Florida didn't make a 3-pointer until its 14th attempt, when guard Walter Hodge hit a shot from the right side that cut Arkansas' lead to 62-35 with 11:23 remaining.

By that point, it was too late.

Florida's big men had trouble getting anything going against Arkansas' more physical lineup. And the perimeter players missed open shots.

The Gators finished just 4-of-25 from 3-point range, including 3-of-17 from their starting five. And their 33.3 percent shooting overall (22-of-66) was the team's second-worst shooting performance of the season.

"We got open looks, but we didn't make them," said Hodge, who shot 2-for-7 from 3-point range and finished with a team-high 13 points. "So that was difference in the game."

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