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March 8, 2014

Instant Analysis: Simply perfect, Gators go 18-0



Florida students camped out all night with temperatures in the high 30s to get a good seat. Fans paid in excess of $200-a-piece for tickets. Their time, comfort and money wasn't wasted. The No. 1 Gators (29-2, 18-0 Southeastern Conference) defeated the No. 21 Kentucky Wildcats (22-9, 12-6 SEC) 84-65. Instant Analysis takes a look.

IT WAS OVER WHEN: Florida's 21-point halftime lead was tossed back as quickly as it was built. The Gators went on a five-minute, 37-second drought during a 15-0 Wildcats run in the second half that closed the UF lead to six points. Scottie Wilbekin slammed the door, hitting a 3-pointer with 11:54 remaining in the game. Kentucky would never get closer than eight points from there.

HE STOLE THE SHOW: Dorian Finney-Smith (11 points, six rebounds) and Kasey Hill (seven assists, one turnover) nearly hijacked senior day, but the game ended like it started: with Florida aggressively attacking inside with Patric Young. Florida's senior center finished the day with 18 points, seven rebounds and one block despite battling foul trouble. The Gators' four seniors combined for 50 points and 18 rebounds.

THE STAT DOESN'T LIE: Kentucky tried to mount momentum in the second half but it was too late. Florida had mounted to steep of a cliff to climb with its best 20 minutes of the season in the first half. Most notably, the Gators shot 61.5 percent (16 of 26) from the field while the Wildcats shot 34.8 percent (8 of 23) with 11 turnovers. Florida's shooting included 7 of 12 from beyond the arc.

WHAT A PLAY: A late run during the first half put the Gators in what seemed like complete control of the afternoon. It was spearheaded by -- per usual -- back-to-back 3s from Michael Frazier II. One game after an SEC record-breaking performance, Frazier hit two 3-pointers within a 30-second span. The second was the kind of play Billy Donovan only lets Frazier get away with, a breakaway 3-point attempt on a dish from Hill with defenders trailing.

THE BOTTOM LINE: The Gators aren't big on reflection because "living in the moment" is the biggest must that comes along with being a successful Donovan team. But Saturday's feat deserves all the reflection one can fit into the rest of the weekend. The next game is nearly one week away, and Florida is the first team in SEC history to go 18-0 in conference play. Donovan's team will enter postseason play on a 23-game win streak and it did so Saturday by defeating the antithesis of the UF model, a wide-eyed Kentucky team that starts five freshmen.

UP NEXT: Florida begins play as the No. 1 seed in the SEC Tournament Friday at 1 p.m. ET.


Official Basketball Box Score
Kentucky vs Florida
3/8/14 12 p.m. at Stephen C. O'Connell Center

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
VISITORS: Kentucky 22-9, 12-6 SEC
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
15 Cauley-Stein, Willie f  2-3    0-0    0-0    2  1  3   3   4  0  3  1  2  22
30 Randle, Julius...... f  7-11   0-0    2-5    2  8 10   3  16  1  1  0  0  31
01 Young, James........ g  3-6    3-4    5-7    0  3  3   3  14  0  2  0  1  35
02 Harrison, Aaron..... g  3-7    1-3    3-4    0  2  2   4  10  2  3  0  0  32
05 Harrison, Andrew.... g  3-14   0-1    2-2    0  2  2   3   8  5  2  0  3  29
03 Polson, Jarrod......    0-1    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   2   0  1  1  0  0   7
22 Poythress, Alex.....    2-5    0-2    0-0    0  1  1   3   4  0  0  0  1  24
44 Johnson, Dakari.....    3-4    0-0    3-7    2  3  5   1   9  1  2  0  0  20
   TEAM................                            1  1
   Totals..............   23-51   4-10  15-25   6 21 27  22  65 10 14  1  7 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half:  8-23 34.8%   2nd Half: 15-28 53.6%   Game: 45.1%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  3-6  50.0%   2nd Half:  1-4  25.0%   Game: 40.0%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  9-15 60.0%   2nd Half:  6-10 60.0%   Game: 60.0%    3


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HOME TEAM: Florida 29-2, 18-0 SEC
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
15 Yeguete, Will....... f  2-4    0-0    1-2    0  7  7   2   5  1  0  0  0  24
24 Prather, Casey...... f  5-5    0-0    5-9    1  2  3   2  15  2  2  0  1  29
04 Young, Patric....... c  8-13   0-0    2-4    0  7  7   4  18  0  2  1  0  25
05 Wilbekin, Scottie... g  4-7    2-2    3-4    0  3  3   3  13  4  1  0  0  28
20 Frazier, Michael.... g  3-8    3-7    0-0    0  0  0   0   9  2  2  0  2  31
00 Hill, Kasey.........    1-1    0-0    6-6    0  1  1   4   8  7  1  0  1  21
10 Finney-Smith, Dorian    3-6    3-4    2-2    1  5  6   0  11  4  2  2  2  26
11 Edwards, Lexx.......    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0  0+
23 Walker, Chris.......    1-1    0-0    0-0    0  1  1   2   2  0  0  0  0   5
25 Walker, DeVon.......    1-2    1-2    0-2    0  2  2   2   3  0  0  1  0   9
30 Kurtz, Jacob........    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   1
42 Donovan, Billy......    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   1
   TEAM................                         1  1  2
   Totals..............   28-47   9-15  19-29   3 29 32  19  84 20 10  4  6 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 16-26 61.5%   2nd Half: 12-21 57.1%   Game: 59.6%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  7-12 58.3%   2nd Half:  2-3  66.7%   Game: 60.0%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half: 10-14 71.4%   2nd Half:  9-15 60.0%   Game: 65.5%    5


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Officials: Tony Greene, Lee Cassell, Ron Groover
Technical fouls: Kentucky-None. Florida-None.
Attendance: 12604
Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
Kentucky......................   28   37  -   65
Florida.......................   49   35  -   84
Bench Warning on Kentucky at 0640 first half

Points in the paint-UK 36,UF 32. Points off turnovers-UK 16,UF 15.
2nd chance points-UK 7,UF 4. Fast break points-UK 4,UF 6.
Bench points-UK 13,UF 24. Score tied-2 times. Lead changed-0 times.
Last FG-UK 2nd-00:08, UF 2nd-00:56.
Largest lead-UK None, UF by 22 1st-02:51.


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