Gators edge Cats on Senior Day

Florida snaps Kentucky’s three-game win streak

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LEXINGTON, Ky. – Tre Mann scored 14 of his 21 points in the second half and Florida pulled out a 71-67 victory over Kentucky on Saturday, winning its third straight game and avenging a blowout loss to the Wildcats.

Tyree Appleby’s wide-open 3-pointer with 3 1/2 minutes remaining put the Gators (13-6, 9-5 Southeastern Conference) ahead for good at 65-63 in a game that had 14 lead changes and nine ties, the vast majority coming in the second half when neither team led by more than four. Neither team scored again until Mann’s baseline jumper with 1:49 to go. The Gators cut the lead to two twice after that but two free throws by Mann with 10.5 seconds remaining sealed the win.

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Florida, which lost to Kentucky 76-58 on Jan. 9, picked up just the fifth season split in the series’ history, the last coming in 1998. The win was just the 11th for Florida at Lexington versus 52 losses.

Colin Castleton scored 14 points, Appleby added 11 and Anthony Duruji 10 for Florida, which shot 53% and made 7 of 15 from the arc, helping them to overcome a big disparity at the free-throw line where they made 14 of 16 to 25 of 29 for Kentucky.

Kentucky (8-14, 7-8) had a 10-point lead midway through the first half after an 8-0 run, gave up the lead, then reclaimed a 39-38 edge at halftime following baskets by Keion Brooks and Davion Mintz.

Mintz tied a career high with 21 points, Brandon Boston Jr. 13 and Isaiah Jackson and Jacob Toppin 11 apiece for Kentucky, which had a three-game win streak snapped. Jackson had three of Kentucky’s six blocks.

Florida is home against Missouri on Wednesday before concluding its regular season at Tennessee on March 7. Kentucky is at Mississippi on Tuesday and home against South Carolina next Saturday.

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Bryan Kennedy hails from the Bluegrass State. He was born and raised in Owensboro, KY where he graduated from Apollo High School in 2006. Bryan graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Spanish in 2010. He also received his master's degree in Sports Media and Branding from Western Kentucky University. While at UK, Bryan was the general manager of the on-campus TV station. He also did sports reporting, anchoring, producing and even the weather for UK Student News Network. While working for UKSNN, he also had the pleasure of covering Coach John Calipari's first press conference when he was introduced as the new head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats; easily one of his favorite moments as a young sports reporter. Before coming to ABC 36, Bryan was a morning anchor and reporter at WXXV News 25, our sister station in Gulfport, MS. He anchored more than four hours of news every day, including morning shows on NBC and Fox. While down south, Bryan had the opportunity to cover the Sugar Bowl, New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans. After spending a little more than two years at WXXV, Bryan is extremely excited to return home. In his spare time, Bryan enjoys playing sports, especially rugby. He also enjoys crossfitting and watching sports (obviously). He's extremely excited to cover Central Kentucky. Feel free to say hello and send story ideas toBKennedy@wtvq.com