NASHVILLE – Like two previous victories over Florida this season earned with stronger finishes, top-ranked Kentucky took heart in having more energy after halftime than the pesky Gators.
Now the Wildcats can focus on a stronger start to their next Southeastern Conference tournament game.
Aaron Harrison and Karl-Anthony Towns each scored 13 points and Kentucky shut down Florida in the second half to pull away for a 64-49 victory in Friday's SEC quarterfinals.
This game followed the same hard-fought pattern as the two previous matchups, with the Gators initially taking charge before Kentucky seized control in the second half.
"The reality of it is, we didn't play with as much energy as Florida played with to start the game," Kentucky coach John Calipari said. "I told them at halftime, if that's what we have in store, like that's how we're going to do this, we're going to have some problems."