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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Tuesday / October 17.
  • Malik Monk Drops 33 as Kentucky Earns Revenge Against Florida

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    LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Malik Monk scored 30 of his 33 points in the second half, Bam Adebayo added 18 points with 15 rebounds and No. 11 Kentucky rallied past No. 13 Florida for a 76-66 victory Saturday to take over the Southeastern Conference lead.

    While another week remains in SEC play for both teams, the Wildcats (24-5, 14-2) took an important step by twice rallying from eight points down to win the pivotal matchup. And they can thank Monk for making it happen as he scored 14 points during an 18-10 run that tied the game at 55 with 9:54 remaining.

    Adebayo scored six straight points before Monk added seven more in between lobbing a pass to Adebayo for a 70-60 lead with 4:04 left.

    Monk sandwiched two free throws around layups by Isaiah Briscoe and Adebayo, points that proved critical in thwarting rally attempts by the Gators (23-6, 13-3).

    Kentucky shot 64 percent in the second half to avenge a 22-point loss to Florida earlier this month.

    KeVaughn Allen had 24 points and Justin Leon added 13 for Florida, which had won nine straight.

    BIG PICTURE

    Florida: The Gators had several chances to put Kentucky away but just couldn’t do it, going cold for several stretches. Rebounding was telling in this rematch as they were beaten 48-30 on the glass after owning the boards 54-29 in the first meeting.

    Kentucky: Playing without De’Aaron Fox for the second time in a month because of a knee contusion, the Wildcats started raggedly but clawed back throughout thanks to Monk. They succeeded despite committing 16 turnovers.

    POLL IMPLICATIONS

    Kentucky’s gutty win could move the Wildcats back into the Top 10.

    UP NEXT

    Florida: The Gators host Arkansas on Wednesday night.

    Kentucky: Hosts Vanderbilt on Tuesday night in its home finale.

    (AP Photo/James Crisp)

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    Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.