FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) Rosemarie Julien scored 23 points, including a clutch 3-point play and two late free throws, and Florida Gulf Coast defeated No. 20 Kentucky 70-64 on Friday night.
The Eagles (9-2) used a 9-0 run to close the second quarter to lead 35-26 at the half and pushed the margin to 14 in the third quarter against the second-highest ranked team ever to visit the school. After Taylor Murray made five free throws and Maci Morris knocked down a 3-pointer, the Wildcats pulled even at 57 on a layup by Alyssa Rice with 5:04 to play.
Then Julien converted a 3-point play and China Dow and Tytionia Adderly, an 18-percent 3-point shooter, made treys after Kentucky turnovers for a 66-57 lead with 3:32 to go.
Murray eventually made it 66-64 with 1:02 to go but after the Eagles missed a pair of free throws with 55 seconds to go, Adderly, who had 11 boards, grabbed the offensive rebound, which led to two Julien free throws with 39 seconds left. Taylor Gradinjan wrapped it up from the line with 9.4 seconds remaining.
Murray led Kentucky (8-2) with 19 points.
”Congrats to FGCU. They came out with a ton of excitement and just whipped us,” Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell said. ”It was a great crowd and environment. I can’t say enough about them.
”We gave ourselves a chance. We started to get the ball inside and (were) more aggressive. Down the stretch just bad turnovers. Once we figured out we needed to play really hard we had some success. But just not enough.”