Brooks' return ignites Kentucky in 76-58 win over Florida
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) In his first game of the season, Keion Brooks Jr. scored 12 points on 6-for-8 shooting and Kentucky more closely resembled its No. 10 pre-season ranking by throttling Florida 76-58 on Saturday.
Brooks is the only returning scholarship player who played last season, and only until last week was he medically cleared to return to competition after missing the first nine games of the season with a left leg injury.
Although he'd been conditioning and participating with the team in non-contact drills, Thursday was his first full practice since the injury.
Though topping 70 points for the third straight game, the Wildcats exerted high energy on the defensive end and held Florida to 37.5% shooting (21 for 56) and scored 25 points off 16 Gators turnovers.
The Wildcats (4-6, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) used a 16-4 run to start the second half after leading 35-29 at the break.
Brandon Boston Jr. and Davion Mintz each scored 13 for Kentucky and Olivier Sarr 10.
Anthony Duruji scored 15 for Florida (5-3, 2-2) and Tyree Appleby 10.
Kentucky has won three straight and will ready itself to play Alabama (9-3, 4-0) in an early-conference matchup for the top spot in the SEC on Tuesday.
Kentucky: Will get a chance to further test itself on Tuesday night against Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
Florida: Hosts Ole Miss Tuesday.
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Updated January 9, 2021