Instant Analysis: Signature Victory

Florida 94 - No. 10 Kentucky 91

by Joseph Torviso
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Please Read: Welcome to the new-look Inside the Gators

After Florida lost a close one to Kentucky at home earlier this season, the Gators walked into the Rupp Arena with something to prove, to the Wildcats, and themselves. It went back and forth all game, even going into overtime, but it was Florida who closed out the game, winning 94-91. This was Todd Golden’s first win over UK since taking charge at UF.

Inside the Gators’ Instant Analysis takes a quick look at how the game unfolded.

IT WAS OVER WHEN: Walter Clayton Jr. drained a corner three with 1:42 left in overtime. Rob Dillingham went on to miss a layup after the Wildcats called timeout. Zyon Pullin got fouled and went on to make his two free throws. Kentucky missed again forcing the Wildcats to start fouling. Kentucky would score, but Florida’s lead was too large to overcome.

THEY STOLE THE SHOW: With less than seven minutes into the second half, Zyon Pullin already surpassed his first half points. Coming into Kentucky, he was second in the SEC with 4.8 assists per game. Tonight, he surpassed that with seven assists while also scoring 21 points and grabbing seven rebounds.

THESE STATS DON’T LIE: Florida could not hit a shot late in the first half. In the space of 5:58, the Gators went 0-9 from the field. Kentucky took full advantage of this and went on a 12-1 run. Zyon Pullin ended the field goal drought with 51 seconds left in the first half with a three pointer.

THIS MATCHUP PROVIDED KEY: Ugonna Onyenso outplayed Micah Handlogten. The Nigerian forward earned a double-double tonight scoring 13 points and grabbing 16 rebounds. Handlogten on the other hand could not get things going. He didn’t score his first point until there was 9:57 left in the second half. Handlogten ended the night with five points, six rebounds and two turnovers.

WHAT A PLAY: After turning the ball over, Walter Clayton Jr. sprinted back to play defense. He blocked Antonio Reeves at the basket and jogged back up the court to join the offense. Clayton Jr. knocked down the wide-open three in transition and gave Florida a one-point lead.

UP NEXT: The (15-6, 5-3) Gators are back on the road and travel to the Reed Arena on Saturday to take on conference opponent Texas A&M 12-8, 3-4).

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