No. 6 Kentucky wins SEC opener
Mathies tallies game-high 14 points as Wildcats down Florida
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- A'dia 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 last three games, included a setback at unranked Middle Tennessee State last Monday. The Wildcats' other loss came 10 days earlier at third-ranked Notre Dame.
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.
|TOP 25 SCORES|
|No. 6 Kentucky 59, Florida 56|
|No. 7 Tennessee 73, Auburn 52|
|No. 17 Georgia 67, Arkansas 57|
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.
Neither team shot well in a tight first half that featured eight lead changes and six ties. Kentucky hit 39.4 percent while Florida shot 32.3 percent.
Mathies made two 3-pointers in a 15-second span late in the first half, helping Kentucky to a 33-29 lead.
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.