If not for a fast start at the beginning of the first half, Kentucky could have found themselves down at the start of the second half of the 2014 SEC Tournament semifinal. This young group of Wildcats instead had a four point lead to work with, a lead that they were hoping to expand early on. The first four minutes of the second half saw anything but that however. After a Julius Randle dunk to open up the half, Georgia scored seven points to Kentucky’s three. Those three points cam from a James Young layup and a free throw from Julius Randle. Kentucky hung on to a two point lead at the under-16 timeout by a score of 41-39.
For all the lackluster play that happened in the first four minutes of the half, a switch was flipped quickly as the opposite of that play occurred in the next four minutes. James Young had two good plays at the rim, Aaron Harrison hit a pair of threes, and Dakari Johnson got a layup to fall to spur a 12-4 run. this allowed Kentucky to take a 53-43 lead into the under-12 timeout. That lead was maintained, as the two teams played even throughout the next four minute span. Julius Randle hit a layup and was fouled on the shot, hitting the free throw to complete the three point play. Andrew Harrison also got a layup to fall, his second field goal of the game, to give Kentucky a 58-48 lead at the under-8 timeout.
Heading into the home stretch, Kentucky was looking to put their foot on the throats of the Bulldogs and put the game away. However, the offenses stalled during this stretch. The two teams combined could only muster up five points. Andrew Harrison hit a three for the Wildcats, allowing Kentucky to take an 11 point lead into the final four minutes of play. The Wildcats were leading 61-50. Finishing out strong, Andrew Harrison was able to score five points on a floater and a three. He finished his night off with an exciting ally-oop for a monster James Young dunk. Julius Randle scored Kentucky’s final points on a strong drive to finish out the game. Kentucky won the game by a final score of 70-58.
The Kentucky Wildcats will face the #1 Florida Gators in the 2014 SEC Tournament Championship game tomorrow at 3:15 pm EST.