As they have for their previous five games, Kentucky continued to roll by defeating Florida 78-57 to make it six straight.
Feeding off the early energy, Kentucky jumped out to a 20-6 lead five minutes in. However, point guard Sahvir Wheeler picked up two early fouls and Florida quickly fueled a run of their own — outscoring the Wildcats 15-2 over the next 10 minutes.
Both teams pulled back and forth until halftime where Kentucky went to the locker room with a narrow lead, 33-28.
Kentucky began the second half with a 13-2 run, jumping out to a 46-30 lead. With Wheeler back on the court, Kentucky’s offense was much more efficient in the half-court as well as scoring on the fast break. TyTy Washington caught fire and Oscar Tshiebwe was his usual self dominating the paint.
As the Wildcats continued to pull away, things got chippy. Florida’s Brandon McKissic fell into Washington’s leg, resulting in what appeared to be a significant injury. Washington, in obvious pain, quickly limped to the locker room and didn’t return for the remainder of the game.
Thankfully, John Calipari said after the game that it doesn’t appear to be a serious injury.
Oscar Tshiebwe continues to wow Big Blue Nation. After being named a Naismith Player of the Year finalist earlier in the week, Tshiebwe put together a near double-double (13 points and nine rebounds) in the first twenty minutes. There was even a point late in the first half where Tshiebwe took a long jumper, rebounded his miss and quickly put it back in for a layup, all while being surrounded by orange jerseys.
The fan-favorite finished Saturday’s win with double-double No. 19 on the season with 27 points and 18 rebounds. It was Tshiebwe’s eighth 20-point performance of the season and his first since January 25th.
With Washington potentially missing time with an injury suffered during the second half of Saturday’s game, Tshiebwe’s offense will become even more significant as will the production of every other Wildcat.