LEXINGTON – February 12, 2022 – John Turner, III
The #5 Kentucky Wildcats hosted the Florida Gators Saturday at a sold-out Rupp Arena. The Wildcats came into the game (20-4) on the season and coming off an 86-76 win over South Carolina on the road this past Tuesday. The Florida Gators came into the matchup (16-8) on the season, coming off a 72-63 win over the Georgia Bulldogs this past Wednesday. A Kentucky win would move Calipari to No.13 on the all-time on-court coaching wins list, tying Rick Byrd at 805. A win would also keep the Wildcats within one game of first place in the SEC standings. The Wildcats came into the game with four starters averaging double-digits in the scoring column, with Sahvir Wheeler barely being left off averaging 9.7 points per game.
Kellan Grady hit back-to-back three-point field goals to start the game to give the Wildcats a 6-3 lead within the first two minutes of regulation, forcing Florida to burn a timeout early. Kellan Grady converted on another three-point field goal to give the Wildcats a 16-6 lead with 15:29 remaining the first half. Keion Brooks had a two-handed slam dunk, assisted by TyTy Washington in transition to give the Cats a 20-6 lead with 14:27 left in the first twenty minutes of play, forcing the Gators to call another timeout. The Gators went on a 10-0 run to cut into the Kentucky lead 20-16.
The Wildcats went into the half with a 33-28 lead. The Wildcats were led in scoring by Oscar Tshiebwe scoring thirteen points and Kellan Grady scoring nine points. The Wildcats were led in rebounding by Oscar Tshiebwe as well, grabbing nine rebounds in the first half. The Wildcats outrebounded the Gators twenty-one to fourteen in the first half. Kentucky led the entire second half expect for the first forty-seven seconds of play.
TyTy Washington came out to start the second half hitting a three-point field goal from the top of the key to put the Wildcats up 36-28 with 19:01 left in the game. Kellan Grady converted on an And-1 layup in transition and made the three frow to put the Cats up 41-30 with 17:28 remaining. Oscar Tshiebwe converted a two-hand slam dunk in transition, assisted by TyTy Washington that brought the BBN to their feet and giving the Cats a 46-30 lead and on a 13-2 run to start the second half, forcing the Gators to call a timeout to try and slow the Wildcats down. The Gators hit back-to-back three-point field goals to cut the Kentucky lead to 50-42 and making the Wildcats call a time out and try and regroup. Davion Mintz hit a three-point field goal with 57 seconds left in the game to give the Wildcats a 75-57 lead.
The 78-57 win today over the Gators moves the Wildcats to (21-4) on the season and (9-3) in SEC play. The win today also improved the Wildcats to (15-0) at home this season. Kentucky was led in scoring by Oscar Tshiebwe with twenty-seven points, Kellan Grady scoring fifteen points, Davion Mintz scoring eleven points, and TyTy Washington with ten points. The Wildcats were led in rebounding by Oscar Tshiebwe coming down with a total of nineteen rebounds for the game. A lot of concerns from the BBN with TyTy Washington leaving the game in the second half and not returning. Kentucky travels this Tuesday to Tennessee to take on the #19 Tennessee Volunteers for the second time this season, with the Wildcats taking the first matchup with a 107-79 win.