Gators Run Streak To Seven, Down Cats In OT

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Nick Calathes had 24 points and made several clutch free throws, Walter Hodge hit a huge 3-pointer in overtime and Florida extended its wining streak over Southeastern Conference rival Kentucky to seven games with a 81-70 victory Saturday night.

The Gators (16-3, 3-1 SEC) became the second team in history to win seven in a row against the Wildcats, joining Notre Dame.

They made this one much closer than it could have been.

Florida missed seven of nine free throws during a 4-minute span in the second half, then Kentucky's Ramel Bradley hit a 3-pointer with 2.5 seconds to play to send the game into overtime.

The shot came after officials overturned an initial ruling that gave the ball to Florida with 5.8 seconds remaining and ahead 61-58.

Calathes, Marreese Speights and Hodge bailed the Gators out in the extra frame.

Calathes hit a 3, then made two free throws to give Florida a 68-67 lead with 2:03 to play. Speights and Hodge made consecutive baskets that gave the Gators much more cushion.

Speights sank a one-hander in the lane, then Hodge drained a 3 from the corner to make it 73-68 with 57.8 remaining.

Calathes made eight more free throws in the final 43 seconds to seal the victory. He also had eight assists and eight rebounds. He finished 13-of-17 from the free throw line.

Speights had with 20 points and eight rebounds.

Bradley led the Wildcats (7-9, 1-2) with 23 points, his sixth consecutive game with at least 20 points

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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