Mollie Korth takes all-around title but UK falls to Florida in SEC showdown

Mollie Korth (UK Athletics Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 5 Kentucky (4-1, 1-1 SEC) gymnastics team fell to No. 5 Florida (2-1, 1-1 SEC), 196.325 – 195.950, inside Memorial Coliseum on Friday night. Sophomore Mollie Korth won the all-around with a score of 39.5, which was her second all-around title of the season.

“I was very encouraged by what I saw tonight and it’s unfortunate it’s going to be overshadowed by a couple of mistakes that we made,” head coach Tim Garrison said. “I thought overall we had a good showing. Obviously you never want your team to struggle. When they do, how they respond is absolutely critical and they responded very well to it tonight.”

Nick Richards: Cats did not get manhandled at South Carolina like Calipari said

Nick Richards (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky didn’t get “manhandled” in losses at Tennessee and South Carolina like coach John Calipari said it did.

Never mind if South Carolina and Tennessee seemed to dominate the second half of both games inside. Kentucky freshman center Nick Richards says the Cats were not manhandled.

“I wouldn’t say that. I think they just have experience over us, but we can’t really use that as an excuse. … I think it was just more of a team effort. That’s why we lost. The team didn’t really play together and it resulted in an L,” he said Friday as UK prepares to host Florida Saturday night.

Quade Green game-time decision

Quade Green (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky freshman point guard Quade Green has missed the last three games with a back injury and it’s still not clear if he will play Saturday night when UK hosts Florida.

Kentucky coach John Calipari said today Green will be a  game-time decision. He’s been out with a back injury suffered in UK’s loss at Tennessee.

“Be nice if he could give us some minutes just so Shai [Gilgeous-Alexander] can sit out five minutes a half or so, but we’ll see,” Calipari said Friday.

Cats have to learn to keep mental focus

Hamidou Diallo (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

One reason Kentucky blew a 14-point lead in the final 11 minutes of Tuesday’s loss at South Carolina was its inability to consistently make free throws.

“Free throws are all mental. You just gotta get to the line, just tell yourself you’re going to make it and, like I said, the first half was all quiet. They (South Carolina fans) weren’t really loud,” UK freshman Kevin Knox said.

“The next thing you know in the second half they kind of got into it. That kind of helped with them with the free throws because we started missing them.

Gators’ Allen breaks out of shooting, scoring slump just in time for Kentucky game

By LARRY VAUGHT

Florida guard KeVaughn Allen had 17 points in four games going into the Gators’ game against Arkansas Wednesday. However, he broke out of that scoring slump in a big way to get ready for Saturday night’s game at Kentucky.

Allen had 20 points — in the first half — and finished with a season-high 28 in the 88-73 win that put Florida on top of the Southeastern Conference standings.

His played helped Florida not only shoot 43 percent overall, but also go 13 of 25 from 3-point range. Allen was 6-for-9 in the first half, including 4-for-5 from 3-point range.

Count on Dukes having her good-luck Mentos tonight

Sidney Dukes (UK Athletics Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Probably before, during and after tonight’s match against Florida, it’s safe to guess that Kentucky junior gymnast Sidney Dukes is going to do one thing over and over.

She’ll eat Mentos, a candy she’s been eating for years when competing.

“I have to eat Mentos during meets. I have a bag I take with me. I just have always kind of done it. I just like the taste of something fresh in my mouth,” Duke said when asked about her match superstitions.

Former Cats Anthony Davis, DeMarcs Cousins NBA All-Star Game starters

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The dynamic duo from the Big Easy are headed for the bright lights of Hollywood. Former Kentucky greats Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins were named NBA All-Star Game starters on Thursday. Davis will make his fifth consecutive appearance while Cousins is heading for his fourth All-Star Game.

The Pelicans’ stars will join the league’s best players on Feb. 18 in Los Angeles for the league’s annual NBA All-Star Game. Davis was drafted No. 1 overall by the New Orleans Pelicans (formerly the New Orleans Hornets) in 2012, while Cousins was the No. 5 overall selection in the 2010 draft to the Sacramento Kings. Since joining forces midway through last season, they’ve arguably been one of the league’s best 1-2 punches inside and have propelled the Pelicans into position for a playoff appearance.

Kentucky Gymnastics Welcomes Florida for Top-Five Showdown

Katrina Coca (Vicky Graff Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – After posting the highest road score in school history at Arkansas, the No. 5 Kentucky gymnastics team (4-0, 1-0 SEC) returns to Memorial Coliseum to face No. 5 Florida (1-1, 0-1 SEC).

The meet will kick off Friday Night Heights on the SEC Network at 7 p.m. Introductions will begin at 6:45 p.m. and will be streamed live on SEC Network+ with John Rothlisberger, Alicia Sacramone Quinn and Lauren Sisler on the call.

Scouting the Gators

ESPN analyst Seth Greenberg calls out Kentucky because “they’re all about themselves instead of the good of the group”

Kevin Knox (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Rather than show his team video of Tuesday’s second-half collapse at South Carolina, maybe Kentucky coach John Calipari should let his team watch what ESPN analyst Seth Greenberg had to say about the Cats after that loss.

It was brutal, but honest.

“They’re not a good team because they’re not connected,” Greenberg said on ESPN. “We can say that’s because they’re freshmen … that sounds great. But they’re not connected because right now they’re all about themselves instead of the good of the group. I think we need to spend more time talking about the teams that are actually really good.”

South Carolina showed how to stop Gilgeous-Alexander

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Five of the last seven games, Kentucky freshman guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been brilliant.

He scored 101 points — 20.4 per game — and had 23 assists, 23 rebounds and nine assists in those games. He was 33 of 62 from the field and 31 of 38 at the foul line.

Kentucky won all five of those games.

In the other two games, Gilgeous-Alexander had nine total points and was 4-for-15 from field with 11 turnovers. Kentucky lost those games at Tennessee and South Carolina.