POSTGAME NOTES: Kentucky Beats Gators 65-54 After Slow Start Saturday Night; Wildcats Now 18-3
Photo by UK Athletics
Postgame Notes by UK Athletics
Final Score: No. 7/6 Kentucky 65, Florida 54
Team Records and Series Notes
Kentucky extended its winning streak to eight in a row and seven straight in league play since losing the opener. The Wildcats are now 18-3 overall and 7-1 in the Southeastern Conference. Florida drops to 12-9, 4-4 in the SEC.
UK increased its series lead to 101-40 and snapped a two-game skid to the Gators.
Kentucky improved to 36-26 in Gainesville, Florida.
Next for Kentucky: the Wildcats will return home to play South Carolina on Tuesday at 7 p.m. That game will be televised on the SEC Network.
It’s UK’s lone regular-season matchup with the Gamecocks this season.
In the First Half
Kentucky stuck with its normal starting five, beginning with Ashton Hagans, Tyler Herro (pictured), Keldon Johnson, PJ Washington and Reid Travis for the 14th time this season. UK is now 11-3 with that lineup.
UK started just 6 of 19 from the field but Herro made his first three shots. Outside of him, the Wildcats started 2 for 15. Herro had 10 of UK’s first 16 points, including two 3-pointers.
He picked up his second foul at the 5:12 mark and went to the bench for the rest of the half.
Kentucky held Florida without a point for 4:42 of game time (from 11:19 to 6:37) to take the lead on a Washington layup at the 7:22 mark.
After a 1-for-5 start, Washington picked it up in the latter stages of the first half and finished with eight points, six rebounds and a block in the first stanza.
An Immanuel Quickley 3 in the corner stopped a 6-0 Florida run to get to the 33-29 halftime score.
UK made just 3 of 14 from behind the arc in the first half.
In the Second Half
UK started the second half how it started the game with Hagans, Herro, Johnson, Washington and Travis.
The Wildcats went scoreless for 6:07 of game time (from 18:59 to 13:32) early in the second half as Florida went on a 9-0 run for a 42-31 lead.
Washington snapped the scoreless run as the Wildcats went on a 6-0 run of their own over just a 48-second span. After Washington missed the second of two free throws, Johnson tipped in his own miss for a three-point possession. The next time down the floor he sunk a 3 to make it a five-point game.
UK extended the run to 10-0 overall to cut Florida’s lead to 42-41. The Wildcats held Florida without a point for 5:03 of game time (from 13:59 to 8:56).
Trailing 48-43, Kentucky took control of the outcome with the game-defining run. UK went on a 14-0 run over 5:12 to turn a five-point deficit into a 57-48 lead.
Kentucky took its first lead of the second half during the run, an advantage it would not relinquish. Johnson hit a 3-pointer in the corner after Herro picked off a pass on the other end and found Johnson open in the corner for a 50-48 lead.
UK would not let Florida within seven the rest of the way, as UK went 6 of 6 at the free throw line over the final 43 seconds of play. Hagans, Hero and Quickley all drained a pair to clinch the 65-54 final score.
Florida scored 54 points. UK is a perfect 70-0 under John Calipari when keeping the opponent to 55 points or less, including 6-0 this season. The Wildcats are also 165-7 when limited the opponent to 63 points or less under Calipari.
The Gators shot only 34.9 percent from the field. UK is 174-15 under Calipari when keeping the opponent at 40 percent or less, including 9-0 this season.
UK has held six of its last seven opponents to 40 percent or less.
During the current eight-game winning streak UK has …
Held opponents to 59.2 points per game.
Limited opponents to 37.5 percent from the field.
Limited opponents to 31.4 percent from 3-point range.
Kentucky is now 237-40 vs. unranked competition under Calipari.
UK led by as many as 11 and improved to 251-5 (.980) when leading by 10 at any point in the game under Calipari.
The Wildcats trailed by as many as 11 and came back for the win. It’s the fourth time this season the Cats have trailed by double figures and rebounded for the victory. Kentucky also trailed by double-digits against Texas A&M, Vanderbilt (Jan. 12) and Kansas.
Kentucky won the rebounding battle, 46-34.
UK is 15-1 when outrebounding the opponent.
Kentucky hauled in 14 double-digit offensive rebounds and has 14 such games this season.
PJ Washington continued the best stretch of his career with his third straight double-double. He had 15 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
He’s the first player with three straight double-doubles since Julius Randle did it four times March 21-30, 2014.
He now has a team-best seven double-doubles.
He’s averaging 20.5 points, 10.8 rebounds, 1.8 blocks, 1.3 assists and 1.0 steals per game over the last four games, all double-digit scoring efforts.
He’s shooting 51.7 percent from the floor and 46.2 percent from behind the arc.
Tyler Herro produced a game-high 19 points on 6-of-8 shooting, including 3 of 4 from behind the arc.
He has reached double-figures in 16 games this season.
He’s knocked down three or more 3-pointers in seven games this season, all UK wins.
He went 4 for 4 from the charity stripe and has made each of his last 28 attempts.
Keldon Johnson added 10 points and eight rebounds.
It’s his team-leading 17th double-figure scoring game.
EJ Montgomery was a difference maker with three rebounds, including two on the offensive end and a blocked shot.
Jemarl Baker Jr. played 15 minutes, scoring two points and adding two assists.
Calipari is now 293-67 at UK.
Calipari has a 738-207 all-time on-court record.
He is now four wins away from tying Joe B. Hall for the second-most victories by a UK head coach in program history.
Calipari improved to 16-8 vs. Florida.