WKYT | Lexington, Kentucky | Sports

Cats win thriller with Gators, advance to title game

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Anthony Davis had 15 points and 12 rebounds, and No. 1 Kentucky held off Florida 74-71 on Saturday in the semifinals of the Southeastern Conference tournament.

Terrence Jones added 15 points and nine rebounds for the Wildcats (32-1), who've won 24 straight games.

Doron Lamb scored 16 points and Marquis Teague added 15, with each hitting a pair of key free throws in the last 15 seconds to secure the win against a Florida team which shot 48 percent, including 11 of 22 from 3-point range.

Erik Murphy had 24 points, on 9 of 12 shooting, and nearly lifted Florida (23-10) to the upset with nine of his points in the final minutes. Bradley Beal added 20 points.

Game 9 Notes – Kentucky 74, Florida 71
Kentucky advances to semifinals Sunday at noon CST vs. Ole Miss/VU
(Kentucky’s 37th appearance in tourney finals; 28-8 record)

Series Notes:
All-Time Series: Kentucky leads the series 93-33
Earlier this Season: Kentucky won both meetings, 78-58 in Lexington and 74-59 in Gainesville
In SEC Tournament Games: Kentucky leads 12-3

Game Notes:
• Florida came out red-hot, making 13 of the first 20 shots, including 5 of 8 three-pointers, in building a 31-21 lead.
• Kentucky surged back, with Anthony Davis’ three-pointer in the closing seconds giving UK a 40-39 lead at intermission.
• Trailing 56-51, Kentucky rallied with 14-straight points for a 65-56 lead.
o For the second-straight day, Terrence Jones came to the rescue of the Cats, scoring seven of the 14 points on a pair of foul shots, a three-pointer and a rebound dunk. Against LSU on Friday, Jones scored nine straight when UK trailed 35-30.
o During the UK run, Florida went scoreless for six and a half minutes.
• Florida came back and held UK scoreless for more than four and a half minutes, putting together a 7-0 spurt that narrowed the lead to 65-63.
• Kentucky got a free throw from Marquis Teague and a rebound basket by Anthony Davis (off Teague FT miss) for a 68-63 lead with 2:22 left.
• In the final 34 seconds, Terrence Jones, Marquis Teague and Doron Lamb kept the Wildcats ahead with two foul shots each and UK held on to win.

Florida Notes:
• Florida is 23-10.
• Florida shot 48.3 percent from the field today, including 50 percent on three-pointers.
o In the previous two games against UK, when Florida shot only 36.4 percent from the field (43-118) and 24.5 percent from three-point range (12-49)
• Florida entered the game leading the nation in three-pointers made with 9.9 per game and the Gators sank 11 today.
• Erik Murphy led all scorers with a career-high 24 points. His previous high was 18 vs. Yale on Dec. 31, 2011.
• Bradley Beal scored 20 for Florida, his fifth 20-point game of the season.

Kentucky Notes:
• Kentucky is 32-1 and has won 24 in a row. The 24-game win streak ties for the sixth-longest in school history.
• Getting to the foul line was a key for Kentucky today. UK made 15 of 20 at the charity stripe. Meanwhile, the Wildcats fouled only eight times in the game and Florida got shot just two free throws.
• A day after committing 18 turnovers against LSU, UK had only six miscues today and won points off turnovers 9-2.
• All five starters scored in double figures for the Wildcats, paced by Doron Lamb’s 16 points and 15 each from Terrence Jones, Marquis Teague and Anthony Davis. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist added 10.
• Davis totaled 15 points, a game-high 12 rebounds and two blocked shots, his 16th double-double of the season.

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