Eric Bledsoe’s career night could not have come at a better time. The 6-foot-1 guard scored 25 points and pulled down seven rebounds in a huge 89-77 win over arch-rival Florida on the road – both were career highs for the freshman guard. He added five assists.
The effort will undoubtedly inject new life in the standout freshman, who had played solidly but not spectacularly over the last five games, scoring just under nine points per game during the stretch. This was clearly Bledsoe’s best night as a Wildcat. He had eclipsed the 20-point mark in two previous games, but against lesser opponents in Indiana and Morehead State.
Bledsoe shot a sizzling 10-13 from the field, including 3-4 from three-point range and 2-2 from the free throw line. He also chipped in with three steals.
Bledsoe hit many key shots in the game, but none were bigger than his long shot at the 3:59 mark with Florida down just three points. Bledsoe’s three-pointer put the Cats up by six. A minute later he scored on a layup putting UK up by eight with just over two minutes remaining. Florida would not recover.
Daniel Orton also had his best game as a Cat. Though he scored only two points, he led the Wildcats with a career-best nine rebounds and tied another career-best with four blocked shots. Four of his rebounds were on the offensive glass. Orton more than held his own defensively spelling DeMarcus Cousins, who played only 23 minutes due to foul problems.