Third time's NOT the charm: UK beats Florida, advances to SEC semifinals

03/13/2015 02:58 PM

Aaron Harrison and Karl-Anthony Towns scored 13 points a piece as No. 1 Kentucky shut down Florida in the second half in route to a 64-49 victory in the Southeastern Conference tournament quarterfinal on Friday in Nashville, Tennessee.

It was the third time the Wildcats and Gators had meet this season, and just like in the previous two matchups, Florida stayed close in the first half before Kentucky pulled away late to remain a perfect 32-0.

Kentucky (32-0) shot only 38% from the field but made up for it by relentlessly attacking to paint and shooting 19-23 from the foul line compared compared to just 3-5 for Florida.

UK’s early struggles on offense resulted in a slim 31-27 lead at the break, but the Wildcats outscored Florida 33-22 in the second half for the closer-than-it-looks 15-point victory.

Jon Horford scored a game-high 15 points for Florida (16-17), but the Gators only made 2 of their final 12 shots as the the nation’s top team pulled away. With the loss, Florida will miss the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2009.

Kentucky advances to play the winner of LSU/Auburn in tomorrow’s first of two semifinals. The game tips off at 1:00 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Watch postgame interviews from the Kentucky players below:

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