Gator Tales

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For those of you still basking in the after-glow of UK's 68-65 streak-busting victory over the Florida Gators (and I don't blame you), here are some interesting notes and factoids from the game we won't forget anytime soon:  

  • Kevin Galloway entered the second half with 14:58 left to play, and UK down 40-35.  The  seldom-used junior responded to the call to battle by providing Kentucky with what can only be described as an adrenaline-boost.  Here's a breakdown of how his electrifying performance helped lift the 'Cats to victory: 14:30 - Scored on a layup; 14:00 - Defensive rebound; 13:12 - Assist; 12:45 - Offensive rebound; 12:15 - Assist; 11:02 - Scored another deuce; 8:55 - Assist; 7:51 - Defensive rebound; 4:10 - Offensive rebound; 4:07 - Offensive rebound; 3:55 - Assist; 3:06 - Assist; 1:41 - Offensive rebound.
  • In those 15 minutes, Galloway went "around the world:" He scored four points, dished out five assists and grabbed a second-half team high six rebounds; he also grabbed all of his team-high four offensive rebounds in the second half.
  • In the final five minutes of the game, UK out-rebounded the Gators 7-2 (on non-dead-ball rebounds).
  • In the final five minutes of the game, UK out-shot Florida, nine shots to only three.
  • In the final five minutes of the game, the Gators did take more free throws (11) than UK (4), but they made only one more than the 'Cats (5).
  • Am I the only one who experienced a heart arrhythmia when Perry Stevenson launched his top-of-the-key-three attempt with UK down four, with only 4:54 remaining (EDITOR'S NOTE -- We love you Perry, but please, never again!).
  • Florida made zero three-pointers in the second half.
  • Florida's four made three-pointers were their fewest since making only two versus NC State on January, 3.
  • The Gators shot only 40.7%, their third lowest percentage of the season -- Florida St. - 39.2%, and Auburn - 39.7%.
  • UK held Florida to 28.6% (4-14) from the three-point line; on the year the Gators make treys at a 36.8% rate.
  • The Florida big men (Dan Werner, Alex Tyus, Chandler Parsons, and Kenny Kadji) were a combined 8-22 (36.4%) from the field.
  • Kentucky grabbed 27 non-dead-ball defensive rebounds, on 32 missed Florida shots.  That's an incredible 87.5%. 
  • UK nabbed 11 offensive rebounds on 29 misses (37.9%), conversely, Florida grabbed only 6 offensive boards on 32 misses (18.8%).  UK was +13 in the overall rebounding battle, +5 in the offensive rebounding department. 
  • Nine of UK's 11 offensive rebounds came in the second half.
  • Anybody think offensive rebounds and turnovers don't matter?: In the first half, UK took twenty shots.  Why only 20?  Because they had 14 turnovers.  In the second half UK took 35 shots (they only committed 5 TO's).  UK made only 15 of those 35 shots (42.9%), but that poor percentage was mitigated by the fact that UK grabbed 9 offensive rebounds (45.0%). 
  • Perry Stevenson's six turnovers makes two games in a row that one of UK's paint-dwellers have turned the ball over that many times.
  • Florida outscored UK 19-6 in points off turnovers.  Could have cost the 'Cats the game.
  • UK held Florida's (read; Calathes) assist total down.  The Gators averaged 17.7 coming into the game, but managed only nine Tuesday night.
  • UK dished out 14 assists on 26 made baskets (53.4%).
  • Jodie Meeks and Patrick Patterson combined to go 10-28 (35.7%) from the field.  The rest of the team went 16-27 (59.3%).  Time for some kudos for the chronically abused.
  • UK is the TENTH team to shoot over 45% against Florida this year. 
  • Michael Porter made 3 of 4 three-points tries.  And he looked anything but intimidated and/or scared.  It's the most treys Porter has made in a game this year.  Over the last four games Porter is 5-11 from beyond the arc.
  • Josh Harrellson went 5-6 from the field, and he made his first three-pointer since making one against Vanderbilt in UK's SEC opener.  The St. Louis native sure showed me, and everybody else -- 11 points, three rebounds, and one block, in only 11 minutes.
  • UK's aggregate reserve totals -- 8-11 from the field (1-1 three-point attempts), and 2-4 free throws, for 19 points.  Thirteen rebounds, two steals, 11 assists, five turnovers, and one block.
  • Florida's aggregate reserve totals -- 3-8 from the field, and 3-4 free throws, for 10 points.  Seven rebounds, one steal, one assist, four turnovers, and one block.
  • During UK's five game win streak to start SEC play, the Wildcats averaged almost 10 fast break points per game.  In their three SEC losses, they averaged 3.3.  Versus the Gators, the 'Cats reverted to form (we hope), and scored 10 points off the break.
  • In the final 3:19 of the game, UK outscored Florida 12-3.
  • Porter and Galloway combined for eight turnovers in 58 total minutes.
  • Kentucky was 7-17 (41.2%) from beyond the arc.  It's the most threes they've made, and the best percentage they have shot, since making 12 trifectas in 19 attempts (63.2%) versus UT on January 13th.
  • With his performance, Nick Calathes solidified his spot among the four SEC players vying for league Player of the Year honors: Jodie Meeks -- 25.1 points per game, 47.3% field goal shooting, 44.0% three-point shooting, 90.6% free throw shooting, and 1.4 steals per game: Marcus Thornton (LSU) -- 20.0 points per game, five rebounds per game, 49.7% field goal shooting, 73.5% free throw shooting, and 1.7 steals per game: Devan Downey (S. Carolina) -- 20.0 points per game, 4.4 assists per game, 2.9 steals per game, 46.7% field goal shooting, and 75.0% free throw shooting: Nick Calathes (UFA) -- 18.1 points per game, 5.3 rebounds per game, 6.4 assists per game, 51.5% field goal shooting, 71.0% free throw shooting, and 1.9 steals per game.
  • Jodie Meeks scored 10 of UK's last 12 points.  He looked curiously like '08 Ramel Bradley/Joe Crawford, and I liked what I saw.  It's something that's been missing over the previous three games; someone to take over the game in the final three or four minutes.  It's somehow comforting to know that Meeks can just say, "Give me the ball, and get outta the way."  I don't think that's selfish, I think it's a pragmatist's approach to winning.
  • I'll leave you with some trivia: No going to Jon Scott's Web-site, or your Yearbook, or Media Guide (and Forty, you stay out of this:) -- Which former UK player hold the season record for the highest assist per game average (since 1962)?  He's also the only UK player to record over 200 assists in a season (232).

Now, it's on to Arkansas and Paintsville's favorite son, John Pelphrey.  Every game is huge ...

Thanks for reading, and Go 'Cats!

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