Game breakdown from UK’s win over Florida


Photo by Carter Gosset. || Staff

Sadie Hobbs

Despite a slow start for the No. 11 UK Men’s basketball against the Florida Gators Saturday afternoon, the Cats turned it into their most important win of the year with a 76-66 victory.

The Cats struggled undoubtedly for the first eight minutes of the game against the Gators, but were able to regroup and show a lot of fight even without point guard De’Aaron Fox.

Other notes:

MVP: Malik Monk

Monk started off slow missing several shots that he’s typically comfortable taking, and he didn’t make his first basket until 7:35 in the game.

Monk also struggled in the first half with a handful of turnovers but was quick to compensate with a handful of points and an assist in the second half.

Monk turned it on in the second half after he hit a two buckets in the first two minutes of the half. Monk had a ridiculous 27 points on the board with 7:00 minutes to go after 24 points early in the second half.

Monk’s performance was crucial tonight ending with 33 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists thanks to a second half that saw him go nuclear. 

Turning Point: 15-3 run

The break in the 15-3 run induced the strongest defense applied by the Cats that arguably has been the best this year. The run caused a total shift in momentum, and Florida found itself unable to execute. 

Engineered mainly by Monk and Bam Adebayo, the Cats used this run to hit another gear and keep the Gators from gaining any sort of control of the game. 

Trending Up: Rebounding

The Cats were out rebounded by the Gators in the first matchup 54-29, a stat that hurt the Cats significantly. At the start of the game, rebounding was a difficult task for the Cats as the Gators were shooting 54% from the field.

Offensively, the Cats struggled to rebound in the first minutes of the half. Offensive rebounds were crucial for the Cats as they were only shooting 18% from the field with 16:00 minutes to go. 

Adebayo led the team with 15 total rebounds, 9 defensive and 6 offensive.

Dominique Hawkins, Briscoe and Willis all had a handful apiece that contributed to the 30 rebounds at the end of the half. For the Cats, this was big.

To have already passed up their rebounds from the last match against the Gators and to be out-rebounding them by nearly double brought a lot of energy to the court.

The Gators were making about half of their field goals in the beginning of the half, but after a change in pace and a pick up in rebounding the team in orange dropped to 29.7%. The Cats finished the half out-rebounding the Gators 30-17.

In the second half the Cats continued to rebound the ball on both ends. With 44 rebounds with four minutes to go, the Cats started to implement the strength that they hadn’t been showing in their last match against the Gators.

Bam continued to be a rebounding machine in the second half, ending with 15 rebounds. The Cats out-rebound the Gators 48-30 when it was all said and done

Trending Down: Turnovers

Taking care of the ball has consistently been an issue for the Cats aside from their game against Tennessee, UK ended the half with 12 turnovers. This isn’t the first time they’ve been in double digits due to lack of ball security.

For the Cats, this lack of ball security opened up a lot of opportunity for the Gators offensively. Malik Monk had 5 turnovers in the first half and Derek Willis and Isaiah Briscoe had two apiece.

Turnovers became less of an issue for the Cats in the second half, as they only committed 4 in the second half which played a big part in UK’s success.