Florida's defense was their undoing in their 76-68 loss to Kentucky, Saturday afternoon. The loss snapped UF's six-game winning streak and moved UF to 11-3 in the SEC.
The Gators shot the ball fairly well, hitting 44 percent from the field, 42 percent from the arc and 10-13 at the line. But UF took 19 three-pointers, as they found the paint clogged with Kentucky's big bodies. The Gators never had an inside game, as Alex Tyus continued to shoot his 20-footers that make your stomach turn and Chandler Parsons wasn't able to go to the rim like he should. Tyus had 9 points, Parsons had 15 points and Vernon Macklin had 10.
Those three, especially Macklin and Tyus, were pillow soft on the defensive end as Kentucky dominated inside. While Parsons gets a pass for adding eight rebounds and seven assists to his line, Macklin and Tyus allowed UK's Josh Harrellson to pull down 12 rebounds and 6-foot-7 Darius Miller to score 24 points. UK only outrebounded the Gators 32-29, and 10-8 on the offensive glass, but the difference was in how each team took advantage of the rebounds. At one point in the second half, CBS showed a stat confirming how much UK really dominated; they had 11 second chance points to Florida's zero. Combined with Kentucky not turning the ball over and their 50 percent shooting from the field and arc, and UF had no chance to win.
In the larger scheme of things, the loss does not hurt Florida too much. Alabama's loss today means Tuesday's game is for a share of the SEC Championship, as both teams are 11-3. If UF takes care of business Tuesday and next Saturday at Vanderbilt, the Gators win the league.