Kentucky basketball: Wildcats move on to SEC semifinals


Kentucky basketball looked to not only win their first game of the SEC Tournament and advance to the semifinals, but also to keep their undefeated record alive with a win over the the Gators of Florida earlier today, and the time away from the court bleed through earlyl.

Kentucky Wildcats
Kentucky Wildcats /

Kentucky Wildcats

The game got off to a fast start. Both Harrison twins already scored, both teams were 2-of-3 from the field, and it was tied 4-4 early. Florida then went on a little 6-0 run to put themselves up 10-4.

The Cats responded well, though. They then went on a run to tie it up at 12 with 12:19 to go in the first segment, but then UF’s Eli Carter came down the court and buried a three point jumper to give the Gators the 3 point margin. Time continued to tick away in the dog fight, and UK matched their largest lead of the contest with a 22-19 lead after a post-up and lay-in by Dakari Johnson with 5:46 left to play in the first twenty. The Gators then went on a bad foul streak and put the Cats on the free throw line – that helped the squad hold a 31-27 lead at intermission. Andrew Harrison had 7 points, Aaron Harrison tallied 6, and Willie Cauley-Stein had 5 to lead UK, who shot 12 of 34 (36 percent) in that half.

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As it did in the first half, scoring came fast to open the second half. The Gators ran down the court and scored within 16 seconds at the start of the frame, while on the other end, Willie Cauley-Stein matched it a two-possession game for the Wildcats again at 33-29. After that, Kentucky scored 4 points and the Gators tallied 2 to give UK a 37-31 lead with 15:16 remaining in the game.

Later on, Aaron Harrison capped a Wildcat 9-0 run after a three pointed by himself. That gave UK a 42-31 lead – their largest of the day. The score moved up to 50-44 (in the Cats favor), which stayed the same all the way to the 7:14 point of the second segment. The Wildcats continued to fight hard, and by doing that, Coach Cal and his club escaped with a 64-49 win over Billy Donovan and his Gators and ended their not-so-good season.

Karl Anthony-Towns led the way today for Kentucky (32-0, 18-0 SEC) with 13 points, and 12 rebounds. Aaron Harrison scored 13 as well along with three assits. Fellow twin, Andrew Harrison had 9 points, three rebounds, and two assists.

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Jon Horford paced the Gators (16-7) with 15 points and 3 boards. Eli Carter had 11 points and three assists. Kenney Hill added 8 points, and Dorrian Finney-Smith had a very low 4 points (shot 20 percent) in Florida’s last game of the season.

Kentucky will now take on an all of a sudden surging Auburn team in the semifinals of the SEC Tournament tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. on ESPN in Nashville.