March 2, 2002
Box Score |
Kentucky is now 20-8 overall, 10-6 in the SEC Eastern Division. Florida is 21-7, 10-6 in the SEC East.
Today marked the final home game for UK seniors J. P. Blevins and Tayshaun Prince.
Key run: trailing 67-65 in the final minute, UK scored the last five points of the game on a Gerald Fitch three-pointer and two Cliff Hawkins free throws.
UK won bench points 30-0. Wildcat reserves played 81 minutes, Gator subs played 34 minutes.
UK is now 37-1 in the last 38 Senior Day games. Since 1920, UK is 78-4 on Senior Day. Florida is 0-3 on UK's Senior Day.
With the win, Kentucky has 47 20-win seasons, including the last 12 in a row.
The victory gave UK its first season sweep of the Gators since 1997. Kentucky has won four of the last five battles against Florida.
Kentucky now leads the series 78-24, including 40-6 in Lexington and 23-4 in Rupp Arena.
Coach Tubby Smith has a record of 23-5 at Kentucky in the month of March, including 2-1 in the regular season, 9-1 in the SEC Tournament, and 12-3 in the NCAA Tournament.
Coach Tubby Smith is now 29-9 (76.3%) in "bounce-back" games at UK, including 7-1 this season.
Kentucky now has two wins over ranked opponents this season, both coming against Florida.
Senior forward Tayshaun Prince led the Wildcats in scoring with 13 points. He remains in ninth place on UK's all-time scoring list with 1,692 points.
Junior G-F Keith Bogans had seven points, giving him 1,291 points in his career and moving past Sam Bowie (1,285) for 25th place on the UK career scoring list.
Freshman forward Chuck Hayes bagged a pair of three-pointers, his first multi-three game as a Wildcat. Hayes also tied a season high with three steals.
Cliff Hawkins' jumper tied the game at 65 with 1:37 remaining, then hit two free throws with 12 seconds left to put UK ahead by three. It marked the third time this season he's had clutch performances down the stretch. At South Carolina on Jan. 12, his runner in the lane with 3.4 seconds left gave the Cats a 51-50 victory. Against Tennessee on Feb. 19, he scored three points inside the final two minutes to give UK the lead en route to a 64-61 win.
Regardless of the outcome of the Georgia-Tennessee game, Kentucky will be seeded second from the Eastern Division in the SEC Tournament in Atlanta. UK will be the last team to begin action as the Wildcats take on the winner of Eastern #6 (South Carolina, Tennessee or Vanderbilt) vs. Western #3 (Ole Miss or Mississippi State) at 9:45 p.m. on Friday, March 8. Florida will play a first-round game on Thursday against Western #6 (Auburn) at 7:30 p.m.
In the 11 years since the league split into divisions, UK has earned either a #1 or 2 seed in the SEC Tournament. The Wildcats have won eight of those 10 tournaments.