Kentucky put itself in a difficult situation getting down 15 points in the first half. UK allowed Florida to shoot 56% in the first 20 minutes. The home crowd advantage and poor defense by UK kept all momentum one sided.
Not much changed to start the second half. Actually, it was worse. Kentucky got down as many as 23 points before a Wenyen Gabriel three made the score 62-42 at the under 16 minute timeout. It was brutal to watch.
The freshman did look lost on defense with regularity. It seemed to only get worse and worse. But you have to give the Gators credit. When shots are falling, they are tough to beat. No team in the country could have beaten Florida the way they played in the first 25 minutes of Saturday’s game.
The next 8 minutes were a different story. The Gators cooled off big time and Kentucky took advantage. It was 65-53 at under 8 minute timeout. There was a chance to get even closer. Two huge plays were a bogus P.J. Washington charge call, then a questionable offensive foul call on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander the next possession. I was hot!
Kentucky started mixing in some zone defense and it really stabilized them on both ends of the court. The lead was cut to 9 before a Florida corner three bounced on the rim 4 times and unceremoniously dropped in. It forced a Kentucky timeout.
Then another timeout was called 90 seconds later. The damage was done. It just wasn’t going to happen today.
Florida wins 80-67.
Team stats across the board were surprisingly close with the exception of assists and UF making four more threes.
Photo Credit: ESPN
Now we wait for our seed. The Cats are coming to see the arch next week for the SEC tournament.