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February 12, 2013

Instant Analysis: Gators gain 20th victory



For the first time since Feb. 5, 2011, No. 7 Florida (20-3, 10-1 Southeastern Conference) defeated No. 25 Kentucky 69-52 Tuesday night at the O'Connell Center. With the win, the Gators retain first place in the SEC. Instant Analysis takes a look at the game.

IT WAS OVER WHEN: Florida finally put Kentucky down for good with a little more than four minutes left in the game. A Scottie Wilbekin layup gave his team an 18-point lead and sealed the deal on a tide-turning victory for the Gators.

HE STOLE THE SHOW: It wasn't about offense this night for Patric Young, but by defending Nerlens Noel and Willie Cauley-Stein inside, Young became the most important piece for Florida. Young kept Noel quiet after the freshman had pulled off a double-double in each of his last three games. In Will Yeguete's continued absence, Young stepped up big with 12 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks.

THE STAT DOESN'T LIE: Kentucky put itself in a hole during the first half that it couldn't climb out of. The Wildcats made 10 shots during the game's first 20 minutes. In comparison, Kentucky turned the ball over 11 times and Florida notced 15 points off said turnovers.

WHAT A PLAY: Florida's offense became "streetball" for one possession late in the first half. Wilbekin hit a spin move on Kentucky guard Ryan Harrow, throwing the him out of his defense completely before dishing the ball to Casey Prather, who drove the lane for an emphatic dunk.

THIS MATCHUP PROVED KEY: Kentucky had no answer when Florida guards decided to drive the lane. Kentucky's young forwards struggled to cover assignments and pick up slashing Florida backcourt players. Of the 35 points scored by Florida guards, 26 came on two-point field goals.


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