No. 1 Kentucky Tops Florida, 74-59
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Top-ranked Kentucky is perfect again in the Southeastern Conference.
Anthony Davis had 22 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks, Terrence
Jones added 19 points and the Wildcats capped a perfect season in
league play with a 74-59 victory over No. 16 Florida on Sunday.
Kentucky (30-1, 16-0) extended its winning streak to 22 games and secured its hold on a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
Wildcats become just the third team since Alabama in 1956 to go
unbeaten in SEC play. The other two? Kentucky. The powerhouse program
accomplished the feat in 1996 and 2003.
Big Blue faced little resistance in the regular-season finale.
Wildcats used an 8-0 run in the second half to make it a double-digit
lead, and then added a 7-0 run later to put the game out of reach.
Patric Young led Florida (22-9, 10-6) with 21 points while Erik Murphy added 14 points and eight rebounds.
Young and Murphy had few answers for Davis and Jones, who both were 9 of 13 from the field, including a 3-pointer each.
shot 53 percent from the field and seemingly scored at will in the
paint, finishing with 40 points in the key. And when they aren't
missing many shots and aren't turning the ball over, they are tough to
beat -- maybe even impossible.
The Wildcats took a 28-16 lead
in the first half, often abusing the Gators in one-on-one situations.
And even when Kentucky did miss, Davis and Jones were there for
rebounds and putbacks.
Florida crawled back in the second
half, though. The Gators cut the lead to 46-44 with about 16 minutes
remaining, but Kentucky started pulling away from there.
got it started with a jumper. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist added a long-range
shot. And Davis hit his second 3 of the season, pushing the lead to
Florida responded thanks to some inspired play by Young
and made it 59-55. But the Cats just dialed it up on both ends of the
The Gators made just one basket over the final 9:02, a
meaningless shot in the closing minute. Davis, meanwhile, took over. He
had a putback, a layup, a dunk and a free throw down the stretch. Jones
also hit a 3.
Young was the lone bright spot for the Gators. He made 10 of 15 shots and finished with nine rebounds.
Kenny Boynton, Erving Walker and Bradley Beal had forgettable
performances for Florida. Going against bigger defenders, the trio
combined for 6-of-29 shooting.
Boynton, benched to start the
game because he was late to a team meeting, finished with seven points
on 2-of-8 shooting. Walker, recognized before his final home game as
the team's lone senior, had eight points on 3-of-11 shooting. Beal had
five points on 1-of-10 shooting with seven rebounds and four assists.
Gators fell to 0-3 without versatile forward Will Yeguete, who is out
for the season after breaking his left foot. He was on the bench and
using crutches, but Florida hasn't been the same without him.