Final: Kentucky 65, Florida 59
Florida traveled to Lexington to take on Kentucky in one of the loudest atmospheres in college basketball. As the Gators battled hard, Rupp Arena proved to be too much as the Gators couldn’t complete the upset.
Florida battled early against the Wildcats, after falling down 8-2 early Florida tied it back up at 14 behind Kerry Blackshear’s leadership. From this point on no team had more than a 3 point lead through the halftime break. At the intermission, the score was tied at 31.
Coming out of the break Kentucky didn’t make a basket in the first three minutes which allowed the Gators to take a 40-33 lead early. Things looked good for the Gators until Immanuel Quickly figured things out and hit 5 of Kentucky’s next 6 shots, the last three buckets in that span spurred a 9-0 run to give Kentucky a 50-44 lead and flip the script of the night. From that point on Kentucky seemed like they got all the rolls as they never did give up the lead.
Florida pushed late and even cut the deficit down to two points with 18 seconds left, however, the Gators couldn’t get the late push to win and fell up short in Lexington.
Nembhard: 4 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists
Johnson: 19 points, 9 rebounds
Blackshear: 18 points, 6 rebounds
Rebounds +/-: +3
The Gators will return home and get their redemption shot at LSU on Thursday with the tournament on their mind.