Tshiebwe scores 27 in No. 5 Kentucky's win over Florida
Oscar Tshiebwe scored 27 points and had 19 rebounds to lead No. 5 Kentucky to a 78-57 win over Florida. Tshiebwe collected a nation-leading 18th double-double of the season and his 11th in a row.
The Wildcats have won six straight. TyTy Washington had 10 points for Kentucky before leaving the game with 12:51 remaining with a lower left leg injury. He didn’t return.
The Gators (16-9, 6-6) saw their four-game winning streak snapped. Colin Castelton led Florida with 18 points, while Myreon Jones, who made seven 3-pointers in a win over Georgia on Tuesday, finished with just six points.
Kentucky made their first four field goals, including back-to-back 3-pointers by Grady and used a 14-2 to produce a 20-6 lead. Grady scored all nine of his first-half points during the spurt, which included 12
unanswered by the Wildcats.
Despite the sluggish start, the Gators used a 15-2 run of their own to narrow the margin to 22-21 with six minutes remaining in the first half. Kentucky regrouped and responded with six straight points - all by Tshiebwe - and led 33-28 at the half.
The Wildcats put the game away by scoring 13 of the first 15 points to open the second half.
Kentucky was without forward Jacob Toppin, who suffered a sprained ankle in the first half of Kentucky's win atSouth Carolina on Tuesday. The Wildcats have played just 12 games this season with a full roster. One of Kentucky's key players off the bench, Toppin is averaging six points and four rebounds per game.
Florida: The Gators fell 5-15 against teams ranked in the top 10. Seeking much-needed momentum going into the postseason, Florida's next three games are against Texas A&M, No. 1 Auburn and surging Arkansas.
Kentucky: The Wildcats continue to build their case for a top seed in the NCAA Tournament and could make a jump in the Top 25 following losses by No. 1 Auburn and third-ranked Purdue this week. The schedule doesn't get easier for Kentucky, which closes out February at Tennessee, followed by home games against Alabama and LSU and a road game at Arkansas. ... The Wildcats were outrebounded in their previous three games, but held a 41-25 edge over the Gators.
Florida: At Texas A&M on Tuesday.
Kentucky: At No. 19 Tennessee on Tuesday.