The Florida Gators overcame shaky free-throw shooting and a late charge by the Kentucky Wildcats to capture the school’s first SEC Tournament title since 2007.

The Gators led 54-39 following a dunk by Patric Young with 11:03 remaining and appeared poised to run away from the young Wildcats.

If not for a poor free-throw shooting and the shot blocking of Kentucky 7-footer Willie Cauley-Stein, the nation’s top-ranked team already would have. But Kentucky went on a 14-0 run, highlighted by seven point from freshman guard Aaron Harrison, to set the stage for a scintillating finish in front of 21,021 fans in the Georgia Dome.

The Wildcats had the ball following a timeout with 14 seconds left in the game, but freshman guard James Young slipped and fumbled the ball away on a wing curl to end the game.

“I give our guys credit for giving a great stop at the end of the game,” UF coach Billy Donovan said.

Winner of 26 straight games, the Gators are now 15-2 in games decided by single digits this season. Last season, the Gators were 0-6 and squandered a 12-point lead during the second half of the SEC Tournament title game to Ole Miss.

The Gators (32-2) nearly gave away this one to Wildcats (24-10).

With Cauley-Stein patrolling the paint (five blocks, 11 rebounds), UF went nearly five minutes without a basket until sophomore shooting guard Michael Frazier II hit a 3-point with 6:16 remaining. Wilbekin followed with a layup to give UF a 59-53 lead.

But a layup by Harrison and 3-pointer by Young made it 61-60 with 1:30 to go.

The Gators had a chance for some breathing room, but missed the front ends of two one-and-one situations during the final 23 seconds - first Scottie Wilbekin followed by Dorian Finney-Smith, who rebounded Wilbekin’s miss.

The Gators finished the game 7 of 17 from the foul line, while Kentucky hit 21 of 26 free throws.

“We just try to fight through any adversity we can as a team, because we are a team,” Wilbekin said.