LEXINGTON, Ky. — No. 10 Kentucky used a tough 2nd half defense and a career-high 26 from Immanuel Quickley to beat Florida 65-59.
Ashton Hagans did not start the game but Nick Richards did after both suffered injuries at LSU. Hagans still played 16 minutes in the first half and scored 7, had 2 rebounds and an assist. Richards had five but didn't have a rebound.
Kentucky built a six point advantage when Immanuel Quickley hit a three. Then a Hagans drive in transition for the lay-up gave UK another six point lead at 14-8. But, Florida got things going as neither team led by more than three in the half. And, when the Gators Ques Glover hit a three at the buzzer it was tied at 31 at the half.
Florida came out on fire to start the second half. The Gators scored the first seven points of the half. Then Kentucky turned it on going through a 19-4 run that included Quickley scoring 15 points of that as he hit back-to-back-to-back three pointers. Kentucky would take a 52-44 lead.
Florida closed within five late but Quickley hit an off-balance three attempt at the shot clock buzzer that hit off the rim a couple of times before falling in.
The Gators got a steal and bucket with :33 remaining to cut the Wildcats lead to 61-57. Then, Florida tipped in a missed free throw to cut the lead to 61-59 with :15 remaining. Kentucky hit free throws to put it away.
Aside from Quickley's 26, Maxey added 13 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists.
Kentucky improves to 22-5, 12-2 in the SEC. The Wildcats are on the road at Texas A&M Tuesday night.