Wildcats Fall To No. 12 Florida, 90-73
Feb. 8, 2000
By EDDIE PELLS
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) - No. 12 Florida validated its spot among the nation's elite Tuesday night, getting 11 points and 18 rebounds from Mike Miller in a wire-to-wire 90-73 victory over No. 11 Kentucky.
It was the fourth straight win for Florida (18-4, 7-2 Southeastern Conference), which pulled into a three-way tie for first in the SEC East with Kentucky (17-6, 7-2) and No. 8 Tennessee.
The Wildcats came in as arguably the hottest team in the nation, having gone 13-1 since splitting their first eight games and brought up questions as to whether the dynasty was in decline.
Certainly it isn't, although the Gators made it look that way at times before a frenzied crowd of 11,818, many of whom waited outside overnight to get seats at the O'Connell Center.
Full-court trapping the Wildcats into a state of frustration, the Gators took a 34-17 lead with seven minutes left in the first half and spent the rest of the game holding off Kentucky rallies.
Florida got the lead up to 19 points early in the second half. Kentucky got the deficit down to 76-66 with three minutes remaining but committed a turnover when it had the ball with a chance to trim it to eight.
Florida scored the next seven points and the Gators began celebrating their second straight victory in the series after dropping 11 of the previous 13.
When it was over, the Wildcats could target foul trouble and their own trouble at the foul line as culprits for the loss. They finished 18-of-29 from the line, but endured a 3-for-9 stretch late in the first half that kept them from capitalizing on a 4-minute scoring drought by Florida.
Meanwhile, Kentucky center Jamaal Magloire drew his second foul four minutes
into the game and his third three minutes into the second half. He played a
total of 17 minutes and finished with four points and eight rebounds.
It spoiled a 24-point effort by freshman Keith Bogans and a 17-point game from Desmond Allison.
Teddy Dupay led Florida's balanced scoring with 14 points. Major Parker had 13 and six Gators finished in double figures.
Miller's 18 rebounds was seven more than the sophomore forward's previous career-high and gave Florida a 49-36 edge in rebounding.