Kentucky jumped out to a quick 11-2 lead over the No. 11 Gators Saturday in the final game of the regular season, but Florida went to the press and solidified their shooting accuracy on a 7-0 run to get back in the contest.
Florida got their first lead of the game late in the first half, and entered halftime tied at 31-all.
The Wildcats came out fierce and fresh to start the second, but Willie Cauley-Stein picked up his fourth foul early, sending him to the bench and allowing Florida to drive to the basket with more ease.
The result was the Gators going on a 19-5 run to take their biggest lead of the game, seven points, which they held for several minutes as Kentucky began to get fatigued.
With 5:00 left on the clock, Archie Goodwin breathed life into the Wildcats, sparking a 7-0 run to knot it up with less than four minutes left in regulation.
As streaky as Florida was playing in front of a rowdy Rupp Arena, senior Erik Murphy played very well, finishing with 17 points and adding 10 rebounds.
As the clock began to wind down, the Gators appeared to get overwhelmed, turning the ball over possession after possession and were scoreless for the final 7:33 of play. A sound defensive effort kept Florida in the game, and Kentucky's offensive attack at bay.
With less than a minute left and nursing a one-point lead, Goodwin was sent to the line and made one-of-two FTs.
Errant shooting, lack of rebounding, and mistakes came back to haunt Florida once again as the Gators turned the ball over with 10.8 seconds left. The Wildcats' best free throw shooter Julius Mays made both, sealing the victory in Lexington for the home team.