No. 5 Gators down Kentucky
Gainesville, FL (Sports Network) – Joakim Noah led a balanced Florida attack
with 17 points and 10 rebounds as the fifth-ranked Gators dumped Kentucky,
85-72, in the regular season finale for both teams at the O’Connell Center.
Taurean Green also scored 17 points and added five assists for the Gators
(26-5, 13-3 SEC), who won for just the second time in five games. Walter Hodge
chipped in with 15 points off the bench and was a perfect 5-of-5 from the
floor, while Al Horford dropped in 14 points and pulled down 10
rebounds for the defending national champions.
Bobby Perry netted 20 points but was just 2-of-7 from the field in the second
half for the Wildcats (20-10, 9-7), who lost for the fifth time in seven
games. Ramel Bradley and Joe Crawford each finished with 14 points and
Randolph Morris had 13 in the loss.
Florida took control of a close game with a 13-2 run to opening the second
half. Green’s three capped the burst and gave the Gators a 56-45 advantage
with 13:58 left.
The Wildcats never recovered and were unable to get closer than nine points
the rest of the way.
A three-point play by Noah, with 2:17 left, gave Florida its largest lead of
the game, 82-66, en route to the easy win.
The first half was an offensive showcase and tightly contested throughout.
Neither team led by more than five in the frame and Kentucky finished things
with a 7-2 run to deadlock things at 43.
Perry paced the Wildcats with 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting at intermission,
while Hodge was 3-of-3 from the floor and tallied 10 points for the Gators.
The Gators finished the season 18-0 on their home floor…Kentucky still leads
the all-time series 84-30…Despite the loss, Kentucky did reach the 20-win
plateau for the 17th straight season…Florida dominated the backboards with
a 35-21 edge…The Gators also recorded a 64-61 victory over Kentucky back on
February 10, as the Gators fought back from a large deficit in that contest.