Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Florida cruises past Kentucky

GAINESVILLE — In one evening of balanced scoring and intensely physical play, No. 7 Florida managed to extend one winning streak and snap a losing one.

The Gators defeated No.  25 Kentucky 69-52 in front of a sold-out crowd at the O'Connell Center on Tuesday night, ending a five-game losing streak to the Wildcats and retaining sole possession of first place in the SEC with a two-game lead. The 17-point victory was the largest against Kentucky this season. The Gators also extended their home winning streak this season to 12.

Florida had five players in double figures, scored 20 off 17 Wildcats turnovers and shot 49 percent from the field.

"It feels good to get a win against Kentucky because my whole career I've got a losing record against them, so it's nice," said junior center Patric Young, who had 12 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks.

Florida (20-3, 10-1) countered a size disadvantage with aggressive drives to the basket, outscoring UK 36-26 in the paint; holding the league's top shot-blocking team to three (UF had nine); and shooting 42.9 percent from 3-point range. The Gators hit three 3-pointers during a 1:17 span late in the first half that opened up the game and led to a 38-25 halftime lead. Kentucky pulled within 12 with 9:36 remaining but couldn't get any closer.

"We played soft, scared, guys played uptight," Kentucky guard Julius Mays said.

The game took a solemn turn with 8:03 remaining. Following a Kentucky turnover, Florida senior guard Mike Rosario was on a fastbreak as Kentucky star freshman center Nerlens Noel chased him. As Noel went up for a block, he came down and his left foot hit the bottom of the base of the basket, injuring his left knee. He was carried off the floor by teammates.

Noel, the nation's leading shot-blocker, was taken to a campus hospital for tests. The team said it won't know anything more until it gets back to Lexington.

"All of us as a team got together and prayed for him, and then we sent him to the hospital," Kentucky coach John Calipari said. "I didn't see much, I just saw it looked ugly. He was yelling and screaming so that's why I stayed (with him on the floor after the injury). We just hope and pray that he's okay, but we'll see. I'm physically sick right now for him."

Florida earned its 15th consecutive 20-win season under coach Billy Donovan. Only Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim have longer active streaks of 20-win seasons under the same coach.

"The hardest thing to do at a place like this is try to maintain a level of consistency, and that's what you try to do," Donovan said. "And to be able to do that for whatever many years it is, I would say it's a reflection on the school, the administration and also the players."

Antonya English can be reached at english@tampabay.com.

Florida cruises past Kentucky 02/12/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 11:31pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays morning after: 5 mistakes that led to loss to Blue Jays

    Blogs

    We've already documented elsewhere what the Rays didn't do, how they failed to take advantage of a prime opportunity to win Wednesday's game, getting just one run after loading the bases in the seventh with one out and three of …

    Jake Faria make too many mistakes, the failure to execute costing him repeatedly.
  2. Rays have their chances, but end up with another loss (w/video)

    The Heater

    TORONTO — The litany of games the Rays have given away this season is long enough, arguably too lengthy. So the only way to get to the postseason is make up for some of those losses by grabbing some wins when the opportunity is presented, especially at this time of year when the margin is diminished and the stakes …

    Associated Press
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Blue Jays game

    The Heater

    You wonder if the scouting reports and/or workload are catching up to rookie RHP Jake Faria. The bottom line wasn't bad again, three runs in 51/3 innings, but he's having to work harder to get there.

  4. Rays journal: Chris Archer eager for eventful final stretch

    The Heater

    TORONTO — RHP Chris Archer takes the mound today for the Rays as they head into the final 40 games of the season with little margin for error as they battle for an American League playoff spot.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) takes a moment on the mound in the second inning of the game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, August 6, 2017.
  5. Tim Tebow's slump continues, as does fan support

    Sports

    CLEARWATER — On July 29, playing against the Charlotte Stone Crabs, Tim Tebow smacked a mammoth three-run homer, helping the St. Lucie Mets cruise to a 10-3 victory at Charlotte Sports Park.

    St. Lucie’s Tim Tebow, shown Monday at Spectrum Field, struggled at the plate Wednesday against the Threshers.