LEXINGTON, Ky. — Walter Clayton Jr. made a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:42 remaining in overtime and added two insurance free throws with 16.4 seconds left to finish with 23 points, and Florida outlasted No. 10 Kentucky 94-91 on Wednesday night for its fourth consecutive victory.
Clayton made a career-best 7 of 13 overall from behind the arc, with the first of his two clutch makes coming with 3 seconds left in regulation to force the extra five minutes at 84-all.
"I wasn't surprised at all," Clayton said of the tying shot. "ZP (Zyon Pullin) does a great job at attracting the defense. He is a threat obviously. So, with him driving to the middle I was able to raise up to the left wing and Reed (Sheppard) was a little far off me. I came up, closed it out, jumped, and hit the shot."
Kentucky guard Rob Dillingham made one of two free throws with 13.5 seconds remaining in regulation to give Kentucky an 84-81 lead before Clayton drained the tying 3.
Zyon Pullin finished with 21 points including three free throws in the final minute of overtime and Tyrese Samuel had 22 with 13 boards for the Gators (15-6, 5-3 Southeastern Conference), who avenged an earlier loss to the Wildcats. They also improved to 3-0 in overtime games this season, having beaten Michigan in double OT last month and Georgia 102-98 on Saturday.
"We are definitely comfortable in those moments," second-year Gators coach Todd Golden said of his team's first Quad 1 victory in seven tries. "I don't necessarily think it's a great strategy to be successful all the time to go to overtime, but the balls bounced their way a couple of times in those games."
Reed Sheppard had 24 points in his second start, Dillingham 20 and Antonio Reeves 19 for short-handed Kentucky (15-5, 5-3), which played without starting guard D.J. Wagner (ankle) and regular forward Justin Edwards (leg).
Seven-footer Ugonna Onyenso made his first collegiate start for Kentucky and contributed career highs of 13 points on 4-of-11 shooting, 16 rebounds and eight blocks.
The tight game featured a remarkable 29 lead changes and 15 ties and the Gators even trailed by 10 late in the first half before closing to enter the second half down just 41-36.
The teams traded initial baskets in OT before Tre Mitchell's free throw gave the Wildcats their last lead before Clayton drained a 3 from the left corner. Dillingham missed a 3 and Pullin added the free throws before Clayton sealed the game from the line.
Kentucky guard Antonio Reeves was recognized before player introductions for recently surpassing 2,000 career points in the win over Georgia. The fifth-year senior tallied 1,195 points in three seasons at Illinois State before transferring to Lexington last season and scoring 488 while being named SEC Co-Sixth Man of the Year last season.