The Kentucky Wildcats headed to Gainesville for another Quad 1 opportunity as they squared off with the Florida Gators. In what ended up being a closer game than many expected, the Cats were able to pull away to pick up another huge win by a final score of 82-74.
To start the game, Kentucky played as efficiently as John Calipari could have hoped. Playing a Gator squad that was without their best player in Colin Castleton, the game plan worked to perfection for the first 12 minutes while the Cats sprinted out to a 15-point lead.
However, then came the dry spell on offense we’ve all grown accustomed to seeing. That 15-point lead quickly turned into a one-point deficit for the Cats heading into the locker room, 37-36.
The game of runs continued well into the second half, as the Gators would always regroup when it looked like the Wildcats were gaining separation. But with some big-time plays down the stretch from Chris Livingston once again, along with big free throws from Jacob Toppin and Cason Wallace, the Cats were able to pull away late to secure the huge win.
Safely off the bubble now, this win for Kentucky now helps with seeding for the NCAA Tournament. With the Auburn Tigers coming to town this weekend, the Cats have the chance to continue racking up big wins for their tournament resume.
Tonight was another step in the right direction.
This one goes to Oscar Tshiebwe.
After a rough performance scoring the ball in the first matchup earlier this month, Oscar turned that around completely showing a solid offensive skillset all-around this evening. He finished the night with 25 points on 12/13 shooting from the field. He also added four rebounds and three assists on the night.
Tonight showed another adjustment that John Calipari has made with Oscar late in this season, as we have seen the mid-range jumper coming back for Big O. After making that free-throw line jumper a staple for last year's team, it disappeared for a good chunk of this season...until now.
With the floor starting to stretch out slightly, it should be fun to watch the offense expand here in the last two weeks of the season.
Also need to give a huge shoutout to Chris Livingston who put together another double-double with 10 points and 15 rebounds in Gainesville.