Tyree Appleby made the go-ahead 3-pointer with 3:29 remaining as visiting Florida posted a 71-67 victory over Kentucky on Saturday in Lexington, Ky.
The Wildcats (8-14, 7-8 SEC) held a 63-62 lead after Jacob Toppin converted a Tre Mann turnover into a dunk with 3:46 remaining. Following a timeout, Colin Castleton passed out a double team to Appleby, who knocked down an uncontested 3-pointer for a 65-63 lead with 3:29 left.
Kentucky still had a chance for the win after Isaiah Jackson's layup made it 67-65 with 1:29 remaining and Olivier Sarr blocked Appleby's layup with 65 seconds remaining. On the next possession, Davion Mintz and Sarr missed 3-pointers and Florida (13-6, 9-5) hit four three throws in the final 10 seconds to secure its third straight win and eighth in 11 games.
Mann paced the Gators with 21 points and eight rebounds on 7 of 11 shooting. Castleton added 14 and Appleby contributed 11 as the Gators shot 52.1 percent and overcame 16 turnovers.
Mintz matched a career-high with 21 points but Kentucky struggled in the second half, going 9 of 27 from the floor and missing 10 of 11 3-point tries. Brandon
Boston Jr. added 13 points but only scored two points after halftime as the Wildcats shot 39.6 percent, missed 16 of 20 3-point tries in a game they shot 86.2 percent (25 of 29) from the foul line.
Kentucky held a 26-16 lead on a free throw by Toppin with 10:52 remaining but Florida ripped off eight straight points and was within 26-24 on a Scottie Lewis dunk with eight minutes left. Florida took a 38-35 lead on a layup by Mann with 63 seconds left but Kentucky held a 39-38 lead at halftime after Mintz hit a layup with 16 seconds remaining.
Toppin split a pair of free throws to give Kentucky a 58-57 lead with 6:46 left, but the Wildcats continued to struggle from the floor and Florida took a 62-59 lead on a basket by Appleby with 5:06 remaining. After Appleby committed his fifth turnover, Mintz coasted in for a dunk to make it 62-61 with 4:27 left and the Wildcats took their final lead on Toppin's dunk.
--Field Level Media