LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Florida worked through ugly play for much of the night against No. 18 Kentucky, and the persistent Gators eventually made the necessary shots to go ahead before holding on with several big defensive plays.
On both ends of the floor, Jalen Hudson came up big.
Hudson came off the bench to score 17 points, and Chris Chiozza, Keith Stone and Kevarrius Hayes contributed clutch baskets down the stretch as Florida rallied to upset the Wildcats 66-64 on Saturday night.
The first-place Gators (14-5, 6-1 SEC) saw their 45-37 second-half lead become a 56-53 deficit before they regrouped behind Chiozza's three-pointer, Hayes' jumper and Stone's layup to go ahead 62-58 with 2:02 remaining. KeVaughn Allen (North Little Rock) added two free throws with 44 seconds left before Hudson made two more from the line, shots that offset three-pointers by Kevin Knox and Wenyen Gabriel.
Stone's missed free throw gave Kentucky a chance to tie at the end, but Egor Koulechov and Hudson blocked shots by by Quade Green and PJ Washington respectively before stealing the inbounds pass with 2.5 seconds left to win for eighth time in nine tries and take a two-game SEC lead on the Wildcats (14-5, 4-3).
"We didn't take home run shots" down the stretch, said Hudson, who shot 4 of 13 overall and 2 of 8 from 3-point range. "We stayed poised."
No foul was called on Washington's drive, and Kentucky Coach John Calipari said he wasn't sure if there was one.
"At the end of the day we had our chances, and I love the fact we fought," Calipari said.
Stone finished with 14 points, Chiozza scored 13 with eight assists and Allen had 11 as Florida won despite shooting 33 percent (22 of 66) before 24,394 fans at Rupp Arena.
"Winning at Rupp is enormous," Florida Coach Mike White said. "We have 11 conference games left and it's a big win."
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Wenyen Gabriel had 10 points each for Kentucky, which lost its second in a row and third of five.
NO. 17 AUBURN 79,
AUBURN, Ala. — Bryce Brown scored 28 points, and No. 17 Auburn rallied in the second half to beat Georgia.
Mustapha Heron had 14 points, and Jared Harper added 13 on just 2-of-9 shooting for the Tigers (17-2, 5-1 SEC), who came out flat for the fourth consecutive game and trailed by 16 points late in the first half.
Yante Maten, who came in as the SEC leader in both points and rebounds per game, had 17 points and nine rebounds for the Bulldogs (12-6, 3-4). Juwan Parker added 16 points.
NO. 21 TENNESSEE 70,
SOUTH CAROLINA 63
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Lamonte Turner matched his career high with 25 points, and No. 21 Tennessee pounded the ball inside to get past South Carolina.
With the scored tied at 59-59, Turner made a short jumper and found Admiral Schofield in the corner for a three-pointer on a fast break, and Tennessee (13-5, 4-3 SEC) led the rest of the way.
Turner also made all 10 of his free throws, including four in the final 36 seconds as the Volunteers snapped a three-game losing streak to the Gamecocks (12-7, 3-4).
IN OTHER SEC GAMES
Tonny Trocha-Morelos scored a season-high 14 points as Texas A&M (13-6, 2-5) continued a tedious recovery from an 0-5 start in SEC play with a 60-49 victory over Missouri (13-6, 3-3) in College Station, Texas. Missouri was held to season lows in points and shooting percentage in the Tigers’ seventh consecutive loss to the Aggies. ... Riley LaChance hit two free throws with 2:01 left to put Vanderbilt (7-12, 2-5) ahead to stay, and the Commodores snapped a four-game skid with a 77-71 victory over LSU (11-7, 2-4) in Nashville, Tenn. LaChance finished with 26 points and Jeff Roberson had 20 for Vanderbitl. Duop Reath finished with a career-high 31 points and had 13 rebounds for LSU. ... Braxton Key scored 16 points and Dazon Ingram made two free throws with 21 seconds left to lift Alabama (13-6, 5-2), which has won four consecutive games, to a 68-62 victory over Mississippi State (14-5, 2-4) in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Sports on 01/21/2018
Print Headline: Hudson, Gators upset Wildcats