The Gators then flipped the script and outscored Kentucky 22-6 in the final eight minutes of the first half to take a halftime lead.
In the second half, a trio of fans were ejected after one Gators fan put his hand on Cason Wallace as he dove for a loose ball.
And in a game where Oscar Tshiebwe had 25 points, Chris Livingston was the star of the show with his second straight double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds and game-saving put-back and-one to put Kentucky up five with under a minute remaining.
A win is a win, despite how ugly it may have been, as Kentucky remains firm in their hold of third place in the SEC.
They move to 19-9 (10-5) on the season and host the Auburn Tigers at home, with fans, for the first time since February of 2020.
Here’s what Twitter had to say.
Happy birthday to us!— University of Kentucky (@universityofky) February 22, 2023
On February 22, 1865, John Bryan Bowman founded the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Kentucky University — now known as the University of Kentucky.
For 158 years, our mission as Kentucky’s flagship, land-grant university has remained steadfast. pic.twitter.com/0q789Bv8Ro
Another Road W pic.twitter.com/HytpJBLUCs— Kentucky Men’s Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) February 23, 2023
REBOUND. BASKET. AND THE FOUL.— Kentucky Men’s Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) February 23, 2023
CHRIS LIVINGSTON. pic.twitter.com/q4ht3NpjKh
Kentucky’s late double-digit lead down to two in the final minute, massive putback and-one by the red-hot Chris Livingston. Now 10 points, 13 boards, second straight double-double.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) February 23, 2023
BIG TIME PLAY BY LIVINGSTON!!!!— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) February 23, 2023
CHRIS. LIVINGSTON.— Kentucky Men’s Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) February 23, 2023
Chris Livingston won this game for Kentucky. Couldn't be happier for that kid.— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) February 23, 2023
These teams have lost this week. UK will be ranked if they beat Auburn at home on Saturday. pic.twitter.com/yCOtc5rbHY— Rare Rookies #BBN (@rarerookies) February 23, 2023
The correct take is: Great win. Quadrant 1 win. Cats stacking Q1 wins as fast as any team in the country.— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) February 23, 2023
Cason Wallace was grabbed by Florida fans after chasing a loose ball into the crowd.— Tristan Pharis (@TristanUda) February 23, 2023
The three Florida fans were ejected, but received an applause from the crowd... pretty classless. pic.twitter.com/DoGy903a26
Cason Wallace deserves a lot of credit for his restraint because this is what could’ve happened.— KG (@__NotKG) February 23, 2023
Florida fans can get another one of these pic.twitter.com/bJPqaPFcMR— Drew Franklin (@DrewFranklinKSR) February 23, 2023
Tons of very high highs tonight, way too inconsistent , but you absolutely take a win on the road in the SEC.— Matt Sak (@MattSakBBN) February 23, 2023
Great games from Oscar and Jacob and a PHENOMENAL performance from Chris. Cason needs to be better, it is his team come March, but have zero doubt that he will be.
Cason Wallace has tied Eric Bledsoe for No. 7 on UK's single season steals list by a freshman.— TheCatsPause247 (@TheCatsPause247) February 23, 2023
In case you're wondering why there was no technical foul assessed when Florida fans interfered with the game... https://t.co/Phkg7vnP30— Big Blue Insider (@bigblueinsider1) February 23, 2023
Sahvir Wheeler is so desperately needed— The Kentucky Network (@KentuckyNet) February 23, 2023
Kentucky did a great job of truly taking advantage of Florida not having Colin Castleton tonight:— Hunter Shelton (@HunterShelton_) February 23, 2023
Rebounds — 40-21 Kentucky
Offensive rebounds — 13-2 Kentucky
Second-chance points — 15-0 Kentucky
Points in the paint — 46-32 Kentucky
Chris Livingston said this after Kentucky’s previous game. Tonight he went for 10 points and 15 rebounds while coming up clutch late at Florida, earning back-to-back double-doubles.— Tres Terrell (@TerrellTres) February 23, 2023
The kid is finding his. https://t.co/pI1EQ1Li4o
Kentucky improves to 9-1 when Jacob Toppin scores 15+ points.— Nick Roush (@RoushKSR) February 23, 2023
JACOB TOPPIN, CLEARED FOR TAKEOFF ✈️ pic.twitter.com/ApHqaYVzVk— Kentucky Men’s Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) February 23, 2023
This is just the 2nd time ever that @KentuckyMBB has won 5 consecutive games against Florida in Gainesville (won their first 7 games played in Gainesville between 1952 and 1964)— Corey Price (@coreyp08) February 23, 2023
Final | Kentucky 82, Florida 74— TheCatsPause247 (@TheCatsPause247) February 23, 2023
Oscar Tshiebwe: 25 pts, 4 reb, 3 ast
Jacob Toppin: 19 pts, 11 reb
Antonio Reeves: 16 pts, 4 ast
Chris Livingston: 10 pts, 14 reb, 2 ast
Cason Wallace: 8 pts, 6 ast, 2 stls
Lance Ware: 2 pts, 2 reb
Adou Thiero: 2 pts
Oscar Tshiebwe finished with 25 points on 12-13 FG (92%) tonight at Florida.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 23, 2023
His 92% FG is the highest by a Kentucky player in a 25-point game over the last 25 seasons. pic.twitter.com/yNSVVcft3s
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