No. 24 Florida trounces No. 8 Kentucky
No. 24 Florida trounces No. 8 Kentucky
- No. 24 Florida trounces No. 8 Kentucky
Published On: Sat, Feb 04
Feb 26, 2015; Bowling Green, KY, USA; Western Kentucky Hilltoppers forward Justin Johnson (23) shoots over Florida Atlantic Owls center Justin Raffington (11) and guard Jackson Trapp (12) at E.A. Diddle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- No. 24 Florida shot 68 percent in the second half and outrebounded Kentucky 54-29 to hand No. 8 Kentucky its worst loss of the season, 88-64 on Saturday night.
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"I told the guys, 'Hey, beating Kentucky is great. They're one of the best teams in the country,'" Florida coach Mike White said. "But we are, too."
It was the fourth straight win for Florida (18-5, 8-2 SEC). Kentucky (18-5, 8-2) has now lost three of the last four.
The 64 points were a season low for the Wildcats.
"Sometimes you gotta hit bottom," Kentucky coach John Calipari said. "Maybe we have hit bottom and maybe we haven't hit bottom. But I knew after Tennessee we had an issue and I said, 'You're going to lose the next two or three if you don't change.'
"We're not passing the ball, we're turning it over, we're making hard plays, we're making cheap plays. We just kind of got away and we've gotta get it back. And at the end of the day, we know how they can play because we've all seen it. Now we see them at their worst. Now it's a choice: Do you want to be at your worst or do you want to be at your best?"
The Gators' 24-point win represented their largest margin of victory against the Wildcats.
"Our biggest focus over the last four games has been on defense and rebounds," White said. "It's funny that tonight we played our best offensive basketball as well. It's about getting the rebound and then making sure the guy they're guarding doesn't get the rebound. It was huge. To me, it was the key to the game."
With Florida leading 62-52 with 10:10 left, the Gators ripped off a 13-0 run to blow the game open with a 75-52 lead with 6:47 remaining. Five different Florida players scored in the run, topped by junior forward Devin Robinson with four points. He started the run with a 3-pointer.
Senior guard Kasey Hill paced Florida with a career-best 21 points. Robinson added 16, sophomore guard KeVaughn Allen had 12 and senior guard Canyon Barry had 11.
Kentucky got 19 points from freshman guard De'Aaron Fox, who didn't start Saturday and missed the last game with the flu. He didn't practice all week. Freshman guard Malik Monk added 11 points.
Monk, who had 37 points in Tuesday's win over Georgia, did not score in the first half.
Florida finished at 48.4 percent shooting. The Wildcats shot 33.3 percent and had 13 turnovers.
Florida jumped on top of Kentucky 34-26 in the first half on the strength of rebounding. The Gators outrebounded the Wildcats 35-13.
Allen paced Florida with eight points, Robinson added six as the Gators led by as many as 13 points with 4:39 to go in the first half. Florida shots just 34.3 percent and committed 12 turnovers.
"It's the SEC and just like the ACC and the Big 12, there's some leagues now where we can't celebrate this but for an hour," White said. "I'm going to go home, hug my kids and have a big pizza with my wife and feel good about it. But then we're on to Georgia."
NOTES: ESPN's College Gameday was in Gainesville. It was the fifth time Florida has hosted the event, joining Duke, Kansas and Kentucky with five times hosting. ... Kentucky leads the series with Florida 99-38, including 35-25 in Gainesville. ... Kentucky's 91.3 points per game average ranks third behind The Citadel and UCLA. No other teams averages 90.
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