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Saturday March 4, 2000Men's Hoops Falls at UK, 85-70; Shares SEC title

Lexington, KY

Kentucky defeated the eighth-ranked University of Florida men's basketball team, 85-70 Saturday afternoon at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky. The win gave the Wildcats a share of the SEC title with the Gators and it stopped Florida's five-game winning streak.

Flordia senior guard Kenyan Weaks' basket and free throw cut Kentucky's once 26-point lead to 10 before Kentucky's Jamaal Magloire made his basket to up the Wildcats' lead to 12. That was as close the Gators would get the rest of the way.

Florida fell behind early, trailing 43-24 at the half. "When you're playing a game like this, guys have to step up", said Gator coach Billy Donovan in his post-game interview on the Gator Basketball Network. "You have to make shots, you've got to be able to rebound the basketball, you've got to make hustle plays and I really thought we were really hurt in the first half".

Florida sophomore forward Mike Miller made just three free throws in the first half, but rebounded to score 17 of his game-high 20 points in the second half. Weaks and junior forward Brent Wright (pictured left) each scored 12 points. Sophomore centerUdonis Haslem managed just six points.

Weaks made his 31st straight free throw which ties him with Dan Cross for the all-time Florida record.

For the game, the Gators shot a season low 36 percent and made just four three-pointers compared to Kentucky's nine. Kentucky's Tayshaun Prince made three of Kentucky's treys and finished with a team-high 19 points.

Donovan hopes the Gators got something out of their lopsided road loss. "From this point on, we're going to play some very good basketball teams. If we can learn from this, its a valuable experience". Florida ends the regular season with a 23-6 record and 12-4 in league play.

The Gators enter next week's SEC Tournament in Atlanta as the third seed in the Eastern Division. They will play the Western Division's sixth seed, Mississippi on Thursday night at 7:30. The action at the Georgia Dome can be seen on Raycom Jefferson-Pilot affilliates.

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