After a close first half, the Kentucky Wildcats were able to finally pull away from Florida, defeating the Gators 67-48 in front of a packed Memorial Coliseum. The win was made even more special as it was UK’s annual Play4Kay Pink Game benefitting the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. Both teams and every coach sported pink in the matchup.
Although Kentucky defeated the Gators by double digits, it didn’t always look so easy. While UK led by ten during the second quarter, Florida would just not go away. Throughout the first half, the Gators chipped away at the lead, ending the half trailing by just four: 27-31.
In the first half, the Cats relied heavily on senior Evelyn Akhator, who finished the half with 10 points. Taylor Murray, despite only scoring two points in the first 20 minutes, got it done for the Cats in other ways, specifically by dishing out seven of the team’s eight first half assists.
But it was the third quarter that really propelled Kentucky ahead of the Gators. While Florida went just 4-9 from the field, the Cats hit 7-15, outscoring the Gators 19-10 during the period.
“We really worked hard to not be frustrated at halftime,” Matthew Mitchell said. “They really locked in and did a great job in the second half.”
By the final quarter, Kentucky had found their stride. The lead continued to grow, and Akhator continued to shine, ending the night with 19 points and nine rebounds. Maci Morris also performed well, finishing with 15 points, while Makayla Epps added 14 points.
Kentucky is now 19-8 on the season, including 10-4 in the SEC. The Cats’ final home game of the season will be on Thursday, Feb. 23 at 7 against Mississippi State.