Florida beats Kentucky with defense

February, 16, 2014
Feb 16
12:31
AM ET

Andy Lyons/Getty ImagesFlorida's Casey Prather dunks in a win over Kentucky on Saturday.
No. 3 Florida defeated No. 14 Kentucky, 69-59 on Saturday night, snapping a 6-game losing streak at Rupp Arena. The Gators have won 17 straight games, tied for the longest single-season win streak in school history. The previous two times they won 17 in a row, they went on to win the national championship.

Since January 25, Florida has allowed the second-fewest points per game (53.1) in the nation (Virginia - 52.3). The Gators played seven games during that stretch, forcing four of those seven opponents into season lows in points.

That now includes Kentucky, which was held below 60 points at Rupp Arena for the first time since a 66-57 loss to Mississippi State on February 3, 2009. For the Wildcats, it’s only their third loss in 84 home games under John Calipari.

The keys to the Gators’ win:

Prather outplays Randle inside
Florida’s Casey Prather scored 14 of his game-high 24 points in the paint, more than Kentucky’s Julius Randle had from anywhere on the court. Randle was held without a field goal in the second half.

Kentucky offense limited inside
Kentucky was held to a season-low eight second-chance points Saturday. Entering the game, the Wildcats led all major conference teams (AAC, ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC) with 17.0 second-chance points per game.

Gators were efficient
Florida averaged 119.8 points per 100 possessions Saturday, the highest offensive efficiency by any team against Kentucky this season.

Wildcats couldn’t force turnovers
Kentucky forced a turnover on nine percent of Florida’s possessions Saturday, the second-lowest turnover percentage for a Kentucky opponent this season.

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