Fastbreak: Florida basketball edges No. 18 Kentucky 66-64 in Rupp Arena

By Adam Silverstein
January 20, 2018
Fastbreak: Florida basketball edges No. 18 Kentucky 66-64 in Rupp Arena
Basketball

Image Credit: ESPN Images

Florida Gators basketball (14-5, 6-1 SEC) held on for a tough 66-64 road win on Saturday, taking down the No. 18 Kentucky Wildcats (14-5, 4-3 SEC) in Lexington, Kentucky. The Gators led for much of the second half and were able to hold on for a victory despite a rough shooting night in Lexington, Kentucky.

Let’s take a look at UF’s latest win in Fastbreak:


It was over when … Kentucky missed a jump shot with two seconds remaining after Florida blocked consecutive field goal attempts out of bounds in the final 19 seconds of the game. The Gators led by six with 44 seconds left, but consecutive threes by the Wildcats — with a couple UF free throws in between — took the host’s deficit down to two with 27 seconds to play. Redshirt sophomore guard Keith Stone missed the front end of a one-and-one with 19 seconds left, but Kentucky was unable to convert a basket despite getting three opportunities down the stretch.

Exceptional effort: Senior point guard Chris Chiozza once again showed out for Florida. Though he only went 1-for-5 from downtown, Chiozza hit 4-of-6 two-point shots with a game-high eight assists and six boards for the Gators. He dealt with serious cramps throughout the night but still managed to play 34 minutes in leading a massive effort for UF on the road in Rupp Arena.

Odds and ends: Florida got its first win at Rupp Arena since Feb. 16, 2014 … the Wildcats outshot the Gators from the field (.400-.333), from downtown (.235-.200) and from the charity stripe (.667-.640) .. UK also edged UF in the paint 38-26 with Kentucky outrebounding Florida 49-38 … the Gators’ only edge Saturday was in the turnover battle (7-16) … sophomore guard KeVaughn Allen went 4-for-16 from the field, while graduate transfer G Egor Koulechov went 0-for-8 from the floor and 0-for-5 from beyond the arc with nine boards … redshirt junior G Jalen Hudson supported Chiozza’s 13 points with a game-high 17 points on 4-of-13 shooting, though he made 7-of-10 free throws

What it means: Florida won a game that it likely should have lost considering its poor shooting and inconsistent play. It is one of the Gators’ biggest victories of the season, and considering it came on the road, they should feel proud of themselves for pulling off a strong win and remaining a one-loss team in SEC play.

Up next: Florida gets a two-game homestand next week when it hosts South Carolina on Wednesday at 7 p.m. and Baylor in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge on Saturday at noon.

2 Comments

  1. Michael Jones says:

    Even when our boys aren’t shooting or even playing particularly well or particularly smart, they keep fighting … they keep battling … and they never seem to get down on each other even after bad turnovers or bad shots. Go to love that.

    Go Gators!!!

  2. Stan Pierce says:

    We recruit one player in the top echelon. A point guard! Alert. We need a big tall WIDE body for God’s sake.

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