GAINESVILLE, Florida (Ticker) -- Kentucky earned its unbeaten Southeastern Conference campaign, but it did not come easy.
Gerald Fitch scored 18 points as the second-ranked Wildcats held off a late rally to run the nation's longest winning streak to 20 games with a pulsating 69-67 victory over No. 3 Florida.
Kentucky became the second team since 1956 to go unbeaten in the SEC, joining the Wildcats' 1995-96 national championship squad.
"It's been a real fun run through the conference," Kentucky coach Tubby Smith said. "I am really proud of these guys. They have hung tough all year long, none tougher than today."
Kentucky (26-3, 16-0 SEC East) built a 66-54 advantage on a 3-pointer by Fitch with 6:48 remaining before Florida rallied. The Gators held the Wildcats without a basket the rest of the way and scored 11 straight points, getting within 66-65 on Matt Bonner's tip-in with 1:40 to play.
Florida (24-6, 12-4) had a chance to take the lead, but Danish freshman Christian Drejer was whistled for a questionable offensive foul after barreling into Marquis Estill with just under a minute left.
A free throw by Chuck Hayes made it 67-65 and Drejer committed another turnover, leading to two free throws by Fitch with 12 seconds remaining for a 69-65 edge.
"We had a bit of a wasted possession with Christian and that hurt us a little bit," Florida coach Billy Donovan said.
Gators freshman Anthony Roberson converted a layup to slice the margin to two points and Florida caught a break when the Wildcats' Keith Bogans missed a pair at the line with five seconds to go.
The ball ended up in the hands of Roberson, who hit buzzer-beating 3-pointers earlier this season in victories over Georgia and Vanderbilt. But he airballed his attempt from beyond the arc as the Gators' 19-game home streak came to an end.
"I just took it," Roberson said. "I took the shot with confidence and I thought I was going to make it, but I just came up short. It just didn't fall today."
The loss overshadowed a terrific performance by Bonner, who battled severe foot pain in his final home game. He played against the wishes of the coaching staff, made 11-of-14 shots and led all scorers with 25 points.
"The bottom line was it hurt," Bonner said. "I think the coaching staff didn't want me to play if it hurt, but it isn't one of those injuries that I am going to make worse playing. My whole thing was that great players play through pain, and that is what I wanted to do."
Kentucky led by as many as 14 points in the second half. Fitch, Hayes and Bogans nailed consecutive 3-pointers to make up a 9-0 tear for a 60-46 cushion with 11:40 to play.
The Gators came right back with an 8-1 run, and a free throw by Roberson cut the deficit to 61-54 with 8:35 to go. Roberson scored 12 points but was limited to a pair of 3-pointers as Florida made just 3-of-13 attempts from the arc.
Bogans scored 10 of his 15 points in the first half and Estill and reserve Antwain Barbour each netted eight points. The Wildcats came up with 10 steals and converted 15 turnovers into 18 points.
"I thought we had some people who really stepped up and did some special things," Smith said. "I thought Keith Bogans displayed why he's the one of the best players in the country."
Kentucky took command with a 17-3 burst that opened a 28-18 lead on Cliff Hawkins' 3-pointer with 8:44 left before halftime. Barbour keyed the run with a pair of 3-pointers.
Florida's David Lee finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds but took only two shots in the second half after making all five in the first 20 minutes. But the senior backcourt of Justin Hamilton and Brett Nelson failed to complement Bonner, combining for eight points.
"I was so impressed with Matt Bonner," Smith said. "I have enjoyed competing against him and all of the seniors, Nelson and Hamilton, over the past three years."
The contest was the first time the O'Connell Center hosted a pair of top-five teams.