GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WKYT) - Kentucky fell to Florida 69-52 Tuesday night and freshman Nerlens Noel left the game after injuring his left knee in the second half. Noel was helped off the floor by teammates.
Kentucky trailed 38-25 at halftime, fell down by 19 in the second half and closed the margin to 57-45 when Noel went down. The injury occurred as Kentucky turned the ball over and Noel attempted to block a shot on a Florida fast break. He appeared to drive his knee into the basket support. The 6-10 freshman was in pain as he lay on the court. After a few minutes he came to his feet and was helped off the floor, putting no weight on his left leg.
ESPN said UK had no update on Noel's injury and speculated, with no x-ray equipment on site, he would need to be x-rayed at a hospital.
Noel averages 10.6 points, 9.6 rebounds and 4.5 blocks a game for the defending national champions. After the game Noel left the arena in a wheelchair and was headed to a local hospital for tests.
In his postgame comments, coach John Calipari said, "I'm physically sick right now for him. What I'm hoping for is it's not the extreme. I'm hoping it's just a twist."
UK officials say Noel will fly back to Lexington with the team.
Scottie Wilbekin had 14 points and eight assists, Pat Young recorded his sixth double-double of the season as No. 7 Florida reamined alone atop the SEC standings. Julius Mays and Willie Cauley-Stein led UK with 10 points apiece.
The Gators (20-3, 10-1 Southeastern Conference) snapped a five-game losing streak in the series, and coach Billy Donovan improved to 2-7 against Kentucky's John Calipari.