LEXINGTON, Ky. — Oscar Tshiebwe had his 19th double-double of the season with 27 points, 19 rebounds to help No. 5 Kentucky knock off Florida in Rupp Arena, 78-57. However, Wildcats guard TyTy Washington suffered a lower leg injury in the win.
The Wildcats started out the game almost perfect hitting eight of their first ten shots. Kellan Grady hitting three, 3 pointers and Sahvir Wheeler hitting his first shot in the last three games to end an 0-for-19 slump. Kentucky would take a 20-6 lead over the Gators less than 6 minutes into the game.
But with 13:32 to go in the first half, Wheeler picked up his 2nd foul and had to go to the bench. UK would make just one of its next ten shots and Florida would head up going on a 15-2 run to cut the UK lead to 22-21. After a timeout called by Coach Calipari, the Cats would go on an 8-0 run, with Oscar Tshiebwe making three of the baskets, to take control again leading 33-28 at the half. Tshiebwe led the Wildcats with 13 points and 9 rebounds. Grady added 9 points.
Early in the 2nd half, UK used a 10-0 run in just 1:31 to extend the lead over the Gators. It included TyTy Washington hitting two, 3 pointers and a lay-up and then dishing an assist to Tshiebwe in transition for an alley-oop slam. Wildcats were up 50-36.
There was a scary moment when TyTy Washington got tied up with another player and didn't put much pressure on his left leg. He hopped off the court and went out the tunnel right to the locker room. He never returned and UK described it only as a lower left leg injury. He was on pace for a triple-double leaving with 10 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists.
After that Tshiebwe took over with his 27 point, 19 rebound effort. The Wildcats had three other players in double figures with Grady hitting 4-11 three pointers for 15 points. Davion Mintz added 11 and Washington had 10.
The Wildcats are back on the road Tuesday night at 9:00 when they travel to Knoxville to face No. 19 Tennessee. It will be an ESPN game. UK best the Volunteers in Rupp Arena 107-79 back on January 15.