Kentucky built an early halftime lead before Florida began to chip away .After Kentucky led by as many as nine points in the first half, Florida captured its first lead with just under 12 minutes to go at 20-19. Both teams swapped leads back and forth for a stretch before Kentucky went on a 9-0 run holding Florida scoreless for around five minutes enabling them to build a small advantage. The Wildcats closed the half leading 34-29.
Kentucky is led at the half by Brandon Knight's eight points. DeAndre Liggins and Doron Lamb are not showing any ill effects of the ankle injuries that they suffered yesterday in the semifinal win over Alabama. Liggns scored seven points in the first half hitting his only three point attempt and all four of his free throws in the first half. Lamb started slowly but finished well with six points.
The Gators offense was sparked by Scottie Wilbekin's eight points off the bench. Chandler Parsons added six while Kenny Boynton had five. A couple of things to keep an eye on in the second half. Kentucky has a huge advantage at the free throw line attempting 14 in the first half to Florida's one. The Gators are going to have to penetrate the inside and attack Kentucky in the paint. Another thing to watch for is fatigue. Florida has a much deeper bench than Kentucky although junior forward Eloy Vargas was able to come in and give the Wildcats some valuable minutes in the first half. The Gators played nine players in the first half and will be interesting to see if Kentucky wears down in the second half.