Wednesday, 17 February, 2016

Big Blue Links: Wrapping up Kentucky's basketball win over Florida

22 Kentucky Wildcats Give South Carolina Gamecocks First Loss At Home John Calipari Ejected Sean Rayford- AP
Benjamin Gardner | 15 February, 2016, 09:18

Kentucky scored a huge win over Florida on Saturday afternoon, downing the Gators by double digits in Lexington.

"We've got a ways to go", coach John Calipari said. "They were really physical, and I thought that we might have, at least, certain plays, we might have some success inside or some success on the offensive glass or even driving it in there, at times at least", White said. "That's just the way I saw it and that's the way you get over games like that the best". Dorian Finney-Smith continued his tear for Florida, posting his fourth 20-plus-point effort in his last five games (22 points) and pulled down nine rebounds. This is clearly the other big game of the weekend, as two of the better SEC teams look to get back on track after suffering mid-week upset losses.

"He did whatever he wanted to do anytime he wanted to do it", Gators coach Mike White said. He finished with a career-high and tied UK's freshman-high set by Terrence Jones with 35 points. Francis-Ramirez had 7 points and 3 rebounds in 20 minutes, going 3 of 7 from the floor and 1 of 4 from 3-point range.

"Jamal Murray stole the show", first-year Florida coach Michael White told reporters afterward.

Kentucky raced to a quick 24-5 lead and led by as many as 24 points in the first half.

"He can really shoot it", White said.

Jim Dedmon- USA TODAY Sports

"I really didn't know anything about any records or anything", Murray said.

Kentucky blew a 21-point lead in an 84-77 loss at Tennessee in its last outing. The Wildcats then opened the second half with an 8-0 run, including a 3 for Murray that took a fortunate bounce on the rim.

Calipari said Lee had a good practice Thursday, giving him hope the junior forward can revert back to being consistent under the basket like he was during the first half of the season. White finished 16 points and six assists to give Ole Miss its only win at Kentucky other than in 1927.

Kentucky's seen its share of criticism thus far as the nation isn't familiar with a John Calipari-coached team having six losses before the month of March. The Wildcats led 50-32 at halftime. Their senior starter, Alex Poythress, was hurt during warmups and deemed out for the game. The Gators have won 5 of their last 6 games, including an 88-71 win over #9 West Virginia last Saturday. The good news it isn't serious and shouldn't keep him out too long, not to mention it was not his surgically-repaired knee that was hurt.

United Kingdom (16-6, 6-3 SEC) will host Florida at 3 a key league showdown that will air on CBS. The session focused primarily on defense, an area that has been sorely lacking over the previous two games in which theĀ United Kingdom allowed 1.11 points per possession at Kansas and a season-high 1.25 points per possession at Tennessee.

Florida carries a two-game winning streak into the contest and is coming off an 87-83 win over Arkansas Wednesday night. The Wildcats shot 52 percent (30 for 58) from the field.

Russia casts doubt on Syria ceasefire deal as army gains ground
The nations gathered in Munich agreed to accelerate humanitarian aid to besieged Syrian communities beginning this week. Russia's foreign minister said a Syrian ceasefire set to start next week is more likely to fail than succeed.