Wildcats Fall To No. 12 Florida, 90-73
Feb. 8, 2000
By EDDIE PELLS
AP Sports Writer
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) - No. 12 Florida validated its spot among thenation's elite Tuesday night, getting 11 points and 18 rebounds from MikeMiller in a wire-to-wire 90-73 victory over No. 11 Kentucky.
It was the fourth straight win for Florida (18-4, 7-2 SoutheasternConference), which pulled into a three-way tie for first in the SEC East withKentucky (17-6, 7-2) and No. 8 Tennessee.
The Wildcats came in as arguably the hottest team in the nation, having gone13-1 since splitting their first eight games and brought up questions as towhether the dynasty was in decline.
Certainly it isn't, although the Gators made it look that way at timesbefore a frenzied crowd of 11,818, many of whom waited outside overnight to getseats at the O'Connell Center.
Full-court trapping the Wildcats into a state of frustration, the Gatorstook a 34-17 lead with seven minutes left in the first half and spent the restof the game holding off Kentucky rallies.
Florida got the lead up to 19 points early in the second half. Kentucky gotthe deficit down to 76-66 with three minutes remaining but committed a turnoverwhen it had the ball with a chance to trim it to eight.
Florida scored the next seven points and the Gators began celebrating theirsecond straight victory in the series after dropping 11 of the previous 13.
When it was over, the Wildcats could target foul trouble and their owntrouble at the foul line as culprits for the loss. They finished 18-of-29 fromthe line, but endured a 3-for-9 stretch late in the first half that kept themfrom capitalizing on a 4-minute scoring drought by Florida.
Meanwhile, Kentucky center Jamaal Magloire drew his second foul four minutesinto the game and his third three minutes into the second half. He played atotal of 17 minutes and finished with four points and eight rebounds.
Teddy Dupay led Florida's balanced scoring with 14 points. Major Parker had13 and six Gators finished in double figures.
Miller's 18 rebounds was seven more than the sophomore forward's previouscareer-high and gave Florida a 49-36 edge in rebounding.