User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
More
Betting Tools

 
Florida cruises past Kentucky, 69-52

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) - If there were any questions about Florida's status in the Southeastern Conference following a loss at Arkansas last week, the Gators put those to rest Tuesday night.

Advertisement
With another lopsided win in league play.

And against defending national champion Kentucky, which had freshman star Nerlens Noel go down with a knee injury.

Scottie Wilbekin had 14 points and eight assists, Pat Young recorded his sixth double-double of the season and No. 7 Florida handled the 25th-ranked Wildcats 69-52.

The Gators (20-3, 10-1 SEC) snapped a five-game losing streak in the series and improved to 12-0 at home.

This one solidified Florida's spot atop the SEC.

``They're an outstanding basketball team,'' Kentucky coach John Calipari said. ``They were last year, they are this year. They're well coached, they're talented, they're very physical. Their guards are just jerking balls out of our guys' hands. We couldn't get near the basket on Young. He just physically took away the rim. And they're very active.''

The Wildcats (17-7, 8-3) lost for the first time in six games, and it may have been costly.

Noel, the nation's leading shot-blocker, injured his left knee in the second half and was taken to a campus hospital for tests.

Noel, a forward who averages 10.6 points, 9.6 rebounds and 4.5 blocks a game, landed awkwardly on his leg with about 8 minutes to play. He screamed in pain as trainers rushed to his side. Teammates carried him to the locker room. After the game, trainers pushed him through the halls of the O'Connell Center in a wheelchair and with his left leg in a brace.

``I'm physically sick right now for him,'' Calipari said. ``What I'm hoping is it's not the extreme. I'm hoping it's some sort of twist, but we don't know.''

Florida had a comfortable lead before the injury.

The Gators opened a double-digit lead, 31-19, in the first half on consecutive 3-pointers by Wilbekin, Mike Rosario and Kenny Boynton - backbreaking shots that frustrated Calipari and had his players looking dazed and confused.

Florida extended it to 16 points on Rosario's layup. It was the biggest deficit the Wildcats had faced all season.

And they did little to erase it.

Young and fellow big man Erik Murphy, who was in early foul trouble, carried the load in the second half.

Young made a basket with a nifty, up-and-under move, had a reverse layup and added a sweet, left-handed hook. He finished with 12 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks.

``When he gives incredible effort and plays with a really good motor, he's capable of getting double-doubles every night,'' said Florida coach Billy Donovan, who improved to 2-7 against Calipari. ``He rebounded. He made great effort plays, kept balls alive. He did a really good job.''

Murphy drained a 3-pointer after taking a charge on the other end. He also had three blocks.

The Gators needed big games from Young and Murphy considering they played a second game without forward Will Yeguete and were undersized against the Wildcats.

Nonetheless, the difference was guard play.

Wilbekin sliced through the lane at will, creating open shots for teammates and getting Kentucky's players out of position. Noel, Archie Goodwin and Willie Cauley-Stein spent time on the bench in foul trouble.

``I really thought he played an all-around, very, very good game,'' Donovan said of Wilbekin, who was benched to start Saturday's win against Mississippi State.

Fellow guard Rosario finished with 12 points for Florida, which has won every conference game by double digits. Murphy chipped in 10 points, and Casey Prather added 12 points and two blocks and took several charges, proving again to be a capable replacement for Yeguete.

Cauley-Stein and Julius Mays led Kentucky with 10 points apiece.

The Wildcats shot 42 percent from the field and had 17 turnovers.

``We just played soft, scared, uptight,'' Mays said. ``We let the pressure get to us. Usually, we're really good with the press. I don't know what it was today, but we just weren't tough enough.''

Calipari warned reporters Monday that beating Florida would be a difficult task, especially since the Gators have played so well at home and have a much more experienced roster.

The most significant disparities came in the paint and off turnovers. The Gators scored 36 points in the paint and 20 points off turnovers; the Wildcats had 26 points down low and just five off Florida's 11 turnovers.

Afterward, though, all the talk was about Noel's injury.

``I don't know what ended up happening, but it was clear from him moaning in pain that he was struggling,'' Donovan said. ``I admire the way he plays and I admire his energy. I don't know how badly he's hurt, but the energy came from a hustle play. It kind of embodies who he is as a player. He's a hustle-play guy, and you just feel sad if there's any kind of length or duration that he's out because everybody admires in this league, coaches-wise, how he plays the game.''

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2015
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Schwab: Sunday's Elite Eight Tips
Lawrence: Sweet 16 and Elite 8 Angles
Marshall: Remembering the '76 Hoosiers
News: 2015 NCAA Tournament Results
Wisconsin heads to Final Four after 85-78 win over Arizona
Texas fires coach Barnes after 17 years
It's Izzo versus Pitino in East showdown
Gonzaga's 1st regional final in 16 years
Houston shooting woes due to stadium?
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NCAA BK College Basketball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NCAA BK  Hot Streaks
2-0 LN, 7-1 L8, 17-4 L6 Days
18-6 L5 Days, 28-10 Win Streak
9-1 L10 G-Plays, 24-13 L37 Picks
10-3 L13 Picks, 11-4 L15 Totals
12-7 L19 Guaranteed Plays
11-3 L14 NCAA Streak
5-1 L3 Days, 12-3 L15, 15-5 L20
+1,154 Overall This Year
11-5 L16 Over/Under Picks
15-7 L22 College Picks
3-0 Last 2 Days
10-5 Last 15 Selections
5-2 Saturday, 17-9 L26 Run
8-3 L11 Picks, 5-1 L6 G-Plays
9-3 Record Last 5 Days
5-0 L5 G-Plays, 7-3 L10 Picks
NCAA BK College Basketball Expert Tournament Picks- Duke Blue Devils vs Gonzaga Bulldogs
2014 CBK SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Chip Chirimbes + 1317
Kevin Rogers + 1154
Joe Williams + 953
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 1747
Joe Williams + 1307
James Manos + 675
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Chip Chirimbes 55 %
Scott Pritchard 53 %
Joe Williams 53 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kevin Rogers + 1566
John Fisher + 1224
Brian Edwards + 900
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 952
Kyle Hunter + 702
Andy Iskoe + 664
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
The SportsBoss + 722
Joe Williams + 358
The Gold Sheet + 268
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Daily Fantasy Sager Bomb