LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Patrick Patterson had 27 points and 14 rebounds for his eighth double-double of the season and Kentucky held off persistent Florida Atlantic 76-69 Saturday.
While the post-holiday Kentucky offense hardly resembled the one that had averaged 89 points the previous four games, the Wildcats' defense gave Florida Atlantic few extra chances. The Wildcats committed a season-low seven turnovers and allowed only seven second-chance points.
Patterson made 12 of his 16 shots from the floor to improve on his Southeastern Conference-leading field goal percentage.
Florida Atlantic's Paul Graham led all scorers with a career-best 31 points.
A jumper by Graham with 15 minutes left gave the Owls their largest lead at 51-46. Then, Kentucky went on a 10-0 run to regain the lead for good. The teams were tied at 37 at halftime.
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Mississippi State freshman guard Malik Newman will withdraw from the NBA draft, but sources told ESPN he might explore other opportunities besides returning to Mississippi State.
Seton Hall sophomore Isaiah Whitehead will stay in the NBA draft and not return for his junior season.
Washington State's trio of Josh Hawkinson, Conor Clifford and Ike Iroegbu have withdrawn from the NBA draft and will play their senior season with the Cougars.
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