UK vs Florida: An Injury, an Ejection, and a Helluva Finish
The Story: In a game full of twists and turns, Kentucky and Florida put on quite the show Tuesday night. The drama began early on in the second half when Walter Hodge was assessed with a flagrant foul and was ejected for stepping on Kentucky forward Perry Stevenson’s arm. (Video) Hodge walked by Stevenson and stepped on his arm while Stevenson was lying on the court after he had fouled Chandler Parsons. After the officials reviewed the tape they alerted press row that Hodge had indeed intended to step on his arm, hence the ejection. The drama continues. While jumping up to block a shot Patrick Patterson landed awkwardly on his ankle with about nine minutes left. Patterson hit the floor grimacing in pain as medical personnel attended to him. He remained at the end of the bench for the duration of the game and was forced to become a spectator. Patterson, along with the rest of Rupp Arena then got to see a fantastic finish. With the clock dwindling down in the second half and the game tied at 65, Kentucky Coach Billy Gillispie knew who would be taking their last shot. Kentucky got the ball in the hands of SEC leading scorer, Jodie Meeks and Meeks delivered. Meeks scored 23 points on the night, including his fade-away 3 pointer with less than five seconds left. Florida guard, Nick Calathes actually got a piece of Meeks’ shot, but Meeks managed to re-gather the ball in his hands and hit the clutch three. Calathes, who scored a career high 33, had a chance to tie the game. He was fouled while shooting a 3 with .6 seconds left on the clock. Calathes, however missed the first freebie and Kentucky went on to win the game.
Ryter’s Block: This game was made for TV. I actually thought for a second that this game was part of a TV series and that next week would bring upon a new episode. Let’s start with the Walter Hodge ejection. Although it was not as severe as the Chase Budinger face stomp, there’s no need for this. Hodge did apologize to Stevenson and knew that he did the wrong thing. Sometimes when the adrenaline is flowing emotions can get the best of people. The right call was made, it was intentional, Hodge screwed up. He did however do the right thing by apologizing and checking on Stevenson. The Patterson injury added to the drama. As of right now the diagnosis on Patterson is a sprained ankle, and he’s been announced as being day to day. The gym went completely silent when he hit the floor and you could see the pain in his face. Hopefully, Patterson returns shortly. Finally, how does Meeks make that shot? He was forced to double clutch in mid-air and still hit it. Calathes played perfect D on him. A more important question is, why foul Calathes on the other end? That’s the worst thing you can do. Kentucky’s Kevin Galloway breathed a huge sigh of relief once Calathes missed the first foul shot. He lucked out. Calathes played arguably the best game of his collegiate career and you can’t fault him for pulling a Darius Washington Jr. If it weren’t for Calathes, Florida wouldn’t even be in that game.