Three observations following Florida’s 66-64 win over Kentucky at Rupp Arena:
— Even though Florida was outrebounded by Kentucky 49-38, coach Mike White felt it was one of UF’s best efforts on the boards this season. The Gators grabbed 14 offensive rebounds and stayed even with Kentucky in second-chance points (12-12). Junior center Kevarrius Hayes had his best game of the season on the boards with a season-high nine rebounds.
— Credit Florida grad transfer forward Egor Koulechov for keeping his head in the game despite an off-shooting night. Koulechov went 0 for 8 from the field, 0 of 5 from 3-point range and finished with just two points. But Koulechov scrapped inside for nine rebounds and came up with one of the big blocked shots late that helped seal the win.
— Florida had a rare off night from the free-throw line (64 percent) in part due to the fact the wrong players were getting to the line. Hayes went 1 of 6, but junior guard Jalen Hudson stepped up, going 7 of 10. Hudson made a pair of big free throws with 31 seconds left to put Florida up 66-61, though Keith Stone missed the front end of a one-and-one with 19.9 seconds left that nearly proved to be disastrous. On the play, Florida should have drawn something up that ensured the ball was in the hands of one of its top free throw shooters — either Koulechov, senior point guard Chris Chiozza or junior guard KeVaughn Allen. Kentucky let some seconds drain from the clock and trapped Koulechov as he was waiting to get fouled, nearly forcing a turnover. Koulechov got the ball out of the trap to Chiozza, who had to make a quick pass upcourt to Stone to avoid a 10-second violation.