- Tuesday, February 8 2000 -
Kentucky - 73 (Head Coach: Orlando Smith) - [Ranked 11th by AP]
|J. P. Blevins||21||0||3||0||3||2||4||0||1||1||2||1||2||0||1||2|
Florida - 90 (Head Coach: Billy Donovan) - [Ranked 12th by AP]
Halftime Score: Florida 44, Kentucky 35
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|South Carolina 76 - 63|||||Louisiana State 57 - 70|
Game Writeup - Written by and courtesy of Stephen John; Kentucky Sports Report, (All Rights Reserved)
Cats fall 90-73
Kentucky ran into a buzzsaw in Gainesville, Florida. Dupay was draining them from the outside and dishing to the scorers on the inside. Michael Miller was dominating the boards and Donnell Harvey was a formidable presence down low. Jamaal Magloire sat much of the game with foul trouble. Bogans tried to keep the Cats alive. Desmond Allison played well before the home state fans and Marvin Stone had his best game as a collegian, but it was not enough. The Gators took command early and maintained a comfortable lead throughout the game, beating the Kentucky Wildcats 90-73. The Wildcats fell to 17-6, and the loss created a three way ties for first place in the SEC East between UK, Florida and Tennessee.
The Florida Gators broke out of the gate strong. They ran, they pressed and they shot well from the outside. Coach Billy Donovan's team was reminiscent of the Rick Pitino teams of the mid-90's, running on offense, swarming on defense and blanketing the boards. The Gators quickly ran out to a 14-6 lead, then extended it to 20-11 with 11:45 remaining in the half. In the early going, the Wildcats were unable to get anything going from the outside, relying instead on tough penetration by Bogans and Allison and strong putbacks by Stone and Magloire. But Magloire picked up two fouls early in the half and sat down, having played only four minutes. After the teams exchanged a couple of baskets, Bonner hit a three pointer and was fouled, converting the opportunity and extending the lead to 28-15 at the half way point of the first half. The Wildcats' defense tightened a little, but the Cats did not help themselves on the charity stripe missing several opportunities. First, Stone missed the front end of a one and one and Blevins missed a technical foul shot. Allison then missed a pair of FT's with the Cats down 16. Tackett missed one of two FT's, followed by Blevins missing one of two. Still, Florida was unable to extend their lead and UK took advantage of a couple of transition opportunities of their own, with Allison and Bogans hitting short shots and UK had cut the lead to 10 with 4:00 to go, 34-24. After Florida missed 2 FT's of their own, Stone was fouled and converted one of two from the line and the lead was 9.
Brett Nelson canned a three from the corner to break a Florida dry spell, and that was followed by a Bonner hook. Allison answered with a tough layup and was fouled. The FT trimmed the lead to 11 once again with 2:30 to go. Bonner and Stone traded short range shots. After a Florida turnover Saul hit a layup which was waved off as the shot clock expired. Nelson then nailed a 28 foot shot for a 14-point lead. But Todd Tackett hit his first three pointer of the year to close the gap back to 11. The half ended when Marvin Stone stepped up and calmly nailed an 8-foot hook shot as the buzzer ended the first half, with Florida leading 44-35. Florida shot 59% from the field in the first half, including 5-10 from 3-point range. Michael Miller had nine boards in the first half for the Gators.
Florida began the second half the same way they started the first, getting two quick baskets. Magloire picked up his third foul at the 16:47 mark and sat once again with the Cats down 13 at 48-35. With Magloire on the bench, things did not go well. Florida was up by 19 in the blink of an eye. Allison came out of a timeout hitting a three to stop the bleeding, then rebounded a Gator miss on the other end. Stone was fouled in the act of shooting on the other end but could convert only one shot. Dupay swished a three on the next possession. Stone was fouled but could hit only one shot on the next trip for the Cats. Kentucky made a stop and Bogans hit 2 FT's. Donnell Harvey then made a monster jam off a Dupay miss and the lead was 17.
Bogans hit his first three pointer. Bonner answered by following his own miss with a rebound and layup. Bogans responded once again with a double-clutch 10 footer. After Miller hit a layup, Stone scrambled for a loose ball under the basket, hit the shot and picked up a free throw with the foul. After a Harvey FT, Prince cut the lead to 12 with a running 12-footer. Bogans then made a great steal at the other end and Magloire drew the foul at the other end but missed the front end of a one and one.
Florida's defense stiffened and the Gators forced a turnover and shot clock violation scoring on their next two offensive possessions. The Cats were out of sync. Florida had an answer every time the Cats tried to mount a charge. Allison canned a couple of FT's, Dupay answered with a three point shot. Harvey followed with a strong move to the basket, hitting the shot and drawing the foul. The Florida lead grew to 18.
Bogans hit a three pointer from the corner, and then followed with a strong move to the basket for a layup. Magloire stole the ball on the next possession and Allison was fouled, hitting one FT and the lead was down to 12 but time was running out.
Florida then began to air the ball out and run some time off the clock at the 3:40 mark. Kentucky made a nice stop and Saul was fouled on the other end while driving to the basket. He canned both and the lead was 10 at the 2:55 mark. UK made a quick stop but couldn't convert. An Allison foul put Michael Miller on the line, who made the first, missed the second, but it was Florida who nabbed the board. Weeks got free for a jam. Kentucky threw the ball away seconds later and the game was essentially over.