GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida coach Billy Donovan ripped
David Lee after a lackadaisical effort against Florida State last
Lee responded with his most complete game of the season
The senior forward had 17 points, seven rebounds and five
assists to help the Gators beat Arkansas 82-74.
"I was hard on David, but for him to come back with the
intensity level, enthusiasm and emotion that he did, I'm very proud
of him," Donovan said.
Lee, who had a season-low four points and two rebounds in a loss
to the Seminoles, was 6-of-7 from the floor against the Razorbacks
and helped shoulder the burden of playing without leading scorer
"Coach Donovan had every right to call me out. I'm a senior, a
team captain, and if I don't produce I need to be benched," Lee
said. "I needed to step up, especially with us being
The Gators (9-3, 1-0) won their fourth consecutive Southeastern
The Razorbacks (13-2, 1-1), meanwhile, looked nothing like the
team that was off to its best start since the glory days of the
early 1990s. They had 13 turnovers and just nine assists. They also
played poor defense, allowing Florida to shoot 78 percent in the
second half and nearly 60 percent for the game.
"We were confident we could come in here and steal one,"
Arkansas coach Stan Heath said. "We thought Florida might have a
little bit of a letdown without Walsh, but that wasn't true. They
stepped it up."
Anthony Roberson scored 15 points for Florida, and teammate Lee
Humphrey added 10 points and five assists -- much of his numbers
coming in a pivotal 12-0 run in the second half.
Leading 45-40 with about 14 minutes to play, Humphrey started
the spurt with a 3-pointer. He then had assists on consecutive
possessions -- getting the ball to Chris Richard for a dunk and
finding Lee for a reverse layup -- that pushed the lead to 12.
Humphrey hit another trey from the corner, and Al Horford capped
the run with a layup.
Arkansas cut the lead to 78-72 with 32.9 seconds to play, but
the Gators hit four of six free throws to seal the victory.
"It was frustrating a little bit, but I credit my guys because
they didn't give up," Ferguson said. "They had a big lead, and we
kept going and kept fighting."
Florida finished 27-of-38 from the free throw line, helping
overcome a sub-par game from beyond the arc (5 of 13).
Lee accounted for much of the inside scoring and aggressive
play. He scored most of his points in the paint, and his assists
came when he got doubled down low and passed to open teammates.
It was a big improvement from his game against Florida State.
Donovan criticized Lee and demanded more from him, especially with
Walsh out at least until next month with a high ankle sprain.
Donovan said Lee responded the way he had hoped.
"He's about all the right things, but he's got to take his
emotional level, his passion, his intensity has got to be better
than everybody else on the team because he's a senior," Donovan
said. "I didn't see that against FSU. I saw it tonight."