GAINESVILLE, Fla. (UK Athletics) – Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 17 points and dished out four assists, but No. 23 Kentucky lost at Florida 80-67 on Saturday at Exactech Arena.
Florida (20-11, 11-7) hit 28 of its 57 shots (49.1 percent) from the floor, including 10 of 24 (41.7 percent) from behind the arc. Meanwhile, Kentucky made 24 of its 58 attempts (41.4 percent) from the field, including six of 16 (37.5 percent) from behind the arc. The Gators made 14 of 20 (70 percent) at the free throw line, while Kentucky made 13 of 22 (59.1 percent) from the charity stripe.
Florida scored the first four points of the game, but Kentucky scored the next five to take an early one-point lead. The game would be tied 9-9 and 14-14 before Florida went on a 6-0 run to lead 20-14 with 10:09 left in the half.
Kentucky would cut the lead to three, 20-17, but Florida scored the next eight points, taking a 28-17 lead with 6:06 left in the half. The Wildcats cut the lead to 30-22 on a three-pointer by Quade Green, but the Gators answered with a 15-6 stretch, taking their biggest lead, 45-28, in the process. Florida would lead 48-33 at the break.
Florida made its first six shots from the floor in the second half, extending its lead to 62-39 in the process. But Kentucky tightened the defense and began to make shots of its own, assembling a 17-3 run to cut the Florida lead to 65-56 with 6:48 left in the game.
However, Florida had the answer, in the form of a 10-1 run that put the game away. Kentucky would get back within 11 points, 76-65, on a jumper by Knox, but the Wildcats would get no closer.
Kentucky returns to action on either Thursday or Friday in the SEC Tournament, which will be held at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis.