Sports

Kentucky edges Florida, stays unbeaten

Gainesville, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Kentucky used its superior size and solid free-throw shooting against Florida to remain unbeaten.

Aaron Harrison scored 23 points, Karl-Anthony Towns added 19 with eight rebounds, and the top-ranked Wildcats pulled away down the stretch for a 68-61 victory over the Gators at the O'Connell Center.

Willie Cauley-Stein posted 13 points and Devin Booker scored 12 for the Wildcats (23-0, 10-0 SEC), who went 21-of-22 at the charity stripe. They held a 33-20 advantage on the glass.

"The right guys shot the ball. Free throw shooting is contagious both ways. It's contagious when you're making them if the right guys are shooting it, it's contagious the other way," Kentucky coach John Calipari said.

Dorian Finney-Smith had 16 points for Florida (12-11, 5-5), which lost its second in a row.

The Gators played most of the second half without leading scorer Michael Frazier II due to an ankle injury the junior guard suffered in the first half.

"Sprained ankle from what I'm guessing. He tried to go back in there; he was hobbling around," Florida coach Billy Donovan said.

The Wildcats continue their unbeaten quest Tuesday at LSU, but they barely got over the hump Saturday night before a raucous crowd.

The Gators led by nine points in the first half and went ahead 44-42 with 12 1/2 minutes remaining on a layup by Chris Chiozza.

Cauley-Stein then threw down a thunderous one-handed dunk by leaping past Devin Robinson for the emotional flush. Robinson committed the foul, leading to the made free throw that put the Wildcats ahead to stay.

A pivotal moment came with just over a minute left. With Kentucky ahead 61-59, Harrison missed a left baseline jumper. Cauley-Stein muscled down the rebound, but missed the layup. Towns then powered in for another offensive board and made two free throws.

The Gators wasted a golden opportunity to cut the deficit when Jon Horford pump-faked in the lane and had Towns essentially land on top of him. Horford, though, was called for traveling with 52.4 seconds left.

Kentucky made its first 16 foul shots until Andrew Harrison missed with 42.2 seconds to play, but he made the second attempt and the Gators never got closer than five the rest of the way.

Horford was forced to the bench after picking up two fouls in the opening 1:32 of the game, but the Gators opened an 18-9 lead nearly nine minutes into the contest. Kentucky had three turnovers over its first seven possessions to help the Gators to the early edge.

Frazier lost his left shoe in the final minute of the half, which led to a scramble for the ball. Chiozza's layup in the waning seconds provided the hosts with a 30-28 lead at the break.

Game Notes

Frazier (2-of-2 Saturday) has made 33 straight free throws and hasn't missed one since Jan. 7 at South Carolina ... Florida fell to 2-11 overall in school history against the No. 1 ranked team, with all of those defeats coming to Kentucky ... Wildcats freshman forward Trey Lyles (illness) missed the game ... Florida won all three meetings last season... Kasey Hill had 12 points, Eli Carter 11 and Frazier 10 for the Gators.