Gators Bring It, Cats Respond Like Champions To Stay Perfect
BRENDON D. MILLER – Midwest News and Sports – March 13, 2015 – Nashville
The CATS wore down the Gators in Fridays first SEC Quarterfinal 64 to 49 to stay perfect. On Thursday, after the Gators took out Alabama to advance to today’s Quarterfinal matchup, Michael Fraizer, stated that the CATS, are “Definitely Beatable” and that was definitely the mindset that the Gators brought to the court today. The Gators came out with intensity and led 10-5 at the 16:25 media timeout and 15-14 at the 11:42 mark. That’s when the CATS, who were presented the SEC regular-season championship trophy before the game, showed the form of a Champion, and turned up the defensive intensity to take the lead 20-19 at the 6:58 media timeout. The CATS never trailed again in advancing to Saturday’s Semi-Finals.
After the break the Gators pulled to within 2 on a jumper by Jon Horford at the 17:06 mark, but that was as close as the Gators would get. The CATS then went on a 9-0 run over the next three minutes culminating in a three pointer from the right wing by Aaron Harrison on one of Tyler Ulis’ 4 assists to make it 42-31 and force a Gator time-out to try and stem the momentum in a packed-with-nothing-but-Blue Bridgestone Arena, and give the CATS their first double-digit lead. This game was pretty well in the books at that point. The Gators had challenged the CATS in both prior encounters this year, but faded late, and that would be the script again today.
Devin Booker said post game that many teams can play with UK for 30 minutes, but “do you still have it” in the final 10. Ulis said the CATS sense the moment late in games when team legs are dead and “that’s when we hit the speed button.” The Gators answered the 30 minute question in the negative as they were only able to shore 9 points in the final 11:24 of the game, when the CATS felt the time was right to hit the button.
The CATS were led in scoring by double-double man Karl-Anthony Towns and Aaron Harrison with 13 a piece, with Towns also posting 12 rebounds, with 6 each offensive and defensive. The CATS only shot 37.5% from the field, going 21 for 56, but more than equalized by going 19 for 23 at the line, for a blistering 82.6%.
32 and 0 and on to Saturday we go. A shout out to the phenomenal BBN. Nashville and Bridgestone are, and will be, entirely BLUE this weekend!