Scores

Final

(6) Kentucky 59

(12-2, 1-0 SEC)

Florida 56

(10-4, 0-1 SEC)

    1:00 PM ET, January 1, 2012

    Stephen C. O'Connell Center, Gainesville, Florida

    1 2 T
    #6UK 33 2659
    FLA 29 2756

    Top Performers

    Kentucky: A. Mathies 14 Pts, 6 Reb, 3 Ast, 3 Stl, 1 Blk

    Florida: D. Allen 14 Pts, 5 Reb, 1 Stl

    No. 6 Kentucky gets past Florida in SEC opener

    Associated Press

    GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- A'dia Mathies and Kentucky turned up the defense to secure a sorely needed victory.

    Mathies scored 14 points, Bria Goss added 11 and No. 6 Kentucky beat cold-shooting Florida 59-56 on Sunday in the Southeastern Conference opener for both schools.

    The Wildcats (12-2, 1-0) were coming off a rough stretch, losing two of their past three games, including a setback at unranked Middle Tennessee State last Monday. The Wildcats' other loss came 10 days earlier at third-ranked Notre Dame.

    "I couldn't be prouder of our players bouncing back for what has been a tough week for us," Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell said. "I think our players might've been doubting themselves."

    Deana Allen had 14 points and Ndidi Madu finished with 11 for Florida (10-4, 0-1), which shot 32.8 percent and committed 23 turnovers. Jennifer George added 10 points and 11 rebounds, and Jaterra Bonds also scored 10.

    "We didn't play well and you have to give Kentucky a lot of credit for that," Florida coach Amanda Butler said. "They're definitely the best defensive team we've played all year."

    Azania Stewart made a free throw with 8:19 left to help Florida close to 42-41, but the Wildcats responded with an 11-4 surge. Amber Smith capped the run with a 3-pointer that just beat the shot clock and made it 53-45.

    George's jumper gave Florida a 29-27 lead late in the first half, but Mathies made two 3-pointers in a 15-second span to send Kentucky into the break with a 33-29 lead.

    "Those were huge, huge buckets at the end of the half," Mitchell said.

    Butler was disappointed that Mathies was free enough to shoot the 3s.

    "It seemed like when we go to zone, she suddenly becomes the best shooter in the gym," Butler said. "We gave up a 3 to the player we were really trying to key on. The way we finished out the first half is going to be hard to watch. "

    The Wildcats also recorded a narrow victory in Gainesville last season when Victoria Dunlap made two free throws with 10 seconds to send Kentucky to a 59-58 win.

    Kentucky opens the home portion of its SEC schedule Thursday against Arkansas while Florida, which had won its three previous games, visits Ole Miss on Thursday.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    UK
    FLA
    Points 59 56
    FG Made-Attempted 22-57 (.386) 20-61 (.328)
    3P Made-Attempted 5-8 (.625) 5-18 (.278)
    FT Made-Attempted 10-15 (.667) 11-19 (.579)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 21 (0/0) 18 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 8 5

    Game Leaders

     
    UK
    FLA
    PointsA. Mathies 14D. Allen 14
    ReboundsA. Bishop 8J. George 11
    AssistsA. Mathies 3J. Jones 4
    StealsA. Mathies 3A. Stewart 5
    BlocksA. Bishop 2A. Stewart 2

    2011-12 Season

    DATEGAMELINKS
    » Jan 1, 2012 UK 59, @FLA 56Recap | Box Score
    Jan 22, 2012 @UK 57, FLA 52Recap | Box Score
    Mar 2, 2012 @UK 71, FLA 67Recap | Box Score