Kentucky moves to 23-0 with road win over Florida

02/08/2015 01:17 AM

John Calipari tried to tell everyone this week that the Florida team Kentucky was facing in Gainesville Saturday night was a lot better than their 12-10 record. And when the ball went in the air, Billy Donovan’s club made him look like a genius.

After the Cats scored the first bucket of the game 70 seconds in, Florida took control and used three-point shooting and an attacking offense to give UK everything they could handle. The Gators entered the break with a 30-28 lead and Calipari’s team wouldn’t jump back in front until Aaron Harrison knocked down a three with 16:48 left in the second half to push UK ahead. 37-35. The game went back-and-forth until Willie Cauley-Stein hit a free throw to put UK up 45-44 with 12 minutes left in the game and they would never relinquish it.

After the game, Calipari told ESPN, “We made the plays we needed to make. We hung around. I told them at halftime that this is perfect for us. They were the aggressor. We got attacked and that’s why we were down. I’m surprised we were only down two, we should’ve been down 10.”

Aaron Harrison, who scored only one point in Tuesday’s win over Georgia, led the Cats with 23 points on 6-12 shooting (3-6 from three, 8-8 on free throws), while Karl-Anthony added 19 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks. Junior big man Willie Cauley-Stein provided 13 points. 5 rebounds, 2 assists and what may be the dunk of the year when he took a fastbreak pass from Andrew Harrison and slammed on Florida’s Devin Robinson. The dunk gave UK the lead for the final time and the Cats kept Florida at bay from there.

The win pushed UK to 23-0 on the season, tying the 1965-66 team for the second-best start in school history and the team shot 21-22 from the free throw line (95.5%), which was their best mark of the season.

Be sure to watch KSTV on Monday for a full recap of the game and a look ahead to Tuesday’s matchup with LSU in Baton Rouge.

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