The Kentucky Wildcats knew what they needed to do. Play loose, play free, make shots and remain confident and upbeat. Knowing and doing can be entirely different things at times. That was the case today as Florida raced past Kentucky 84-65.
The shot making thing made it difficult for Kentucky to do all the other things to compete with the Gators. In the first half they were 8 of 24 from the field for a 34.1% clip. Turnovers, (11 in the first half) Patric Young down low and transition defense were a few things that went wrong for Kentucky as Florida pulled ahead on their way to a 49-28 lead at the break.
The scary thing about this was that point guard Scottie Wilbekin had not even attempted a shot.
Breakdowns like this against Florida on their home court seem as if they are magnified this year. One mistake here, a missed assignment there and a small molehill-like deficit can balloon into a mountainous one. Kentucky isn’t the first team to roll into Gainesville and fall victim to this. They are 18-0 in SEC play for a reason.
Kentucky deserves credit for not packing it in at the half. Trailing 53-32 they hit Florida with a 15-0 run to pull within six at 53-47. The Cats made things interesting, but never could pressure Florida into feeling nervous or overly tight. A three-pointer by Wilbekin stabilized Florida as they regrouped and ran away and hid again down the stretch.
U can't lose by 19 on CBS
— Doron Lamb (@DLamb20) March 8, 2014
Most would agree with Doron Lamb on this, but it is what it is. No one wanted to see the season conclude this way. There’s nothing left to do now but move on to the SEC and NCAA tournaments and see if they can bottle up the fight they showed early in the second half and see if they can do it for longer stretches.