FINAL: Florida 80 Kentucky 67 - LEX18.com | Continuous News and StormTracker Weather

FINAL: Florida 80 Kentucky 67

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James Crisp-AP Photo James Crisp-AP Photo

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led Kentucky with 17 points, but the Wildcats were unable to keep up with the red-hot Gators in an 80-67 loss.

Jalen Hudson led the way for Florida with 22 points on 8-15 shooting, while his team as a whole shot 49% from the floor, including 10-24 from deep. The Gators shot just 6-30 in the first matchup at Rupp.

Kevin Knox chipped in 14 points for Kentucky, with PJ Washington and Quade Green contributing 11 points apiece. Florida clinched the number three seed in the SEC tournament with the victory. Kentucky will need Missouri to defeat Arkansas in order to secure a double-bye.

First Half:

Kentucky's bench hasn't felt like that of a normal backup unit. In fact, there are times where many Kentucky fans may think their first three off the bench provides the greatest scoring punch. That was the case today, with 15 of the Wildcats 33 first-half points coming off the bench. Only two starters scored for Kentucky (Knox 8, Gilgeous-Alexander 10).

Quade Green led the way off the bench scoring nine points, while PJ Washington was playing good basketball before picking up his second foul midway through the half.

Kentucky had been playing their best defense of the season in recent weeks, but Florida was scoring at will in the first half. The Gators shot 56% as a team, with Jalen Hudson's 17 points on 6-9 shooting leading the way. Florida hit six of 13 three-pointers in the first half.  

A Quade Green three tied up the game at 14, but from there it was all Gators. Florida outscored the Cats 34-19 from that point and finished the half hitting eight of their final nine shots.

The Wildcats compiled eight first-half turnovers which led to easy Florida buckets.

2nd half:

Five minutes into the second half Florida led by as many as 23 points. Kentucky began to climb back from there, using a 17-3 run and a 0-10 shooting drought from Florida to pull back within single digits at 65-56. But Kentucky would get no closer.

Florida began hitting shots from that point on and they cruised throughout the final five minutes to an 80-67 victory. The season sweep was Florida's first over Kentucky since the 2013-2014 season.

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