No. 4 Kentucky 90, Indiana 73
Indiana took its best shot at No. 4 Kentucky on Saturday.
The Wildcats retaliated with a shrug and a knockout punch in a
John Wall got the offense in sync, setting up a decisive 18-0
second-half run that gave the Wildcats their first win in
Bloomington since 1981. It was just what Kentucky coach John
Calipari thought his team needed.
“What I was so happy about is how Indiana came out and tried to
run us off the floor and made every shot and just played with
unbelievable energy,” Calipari said. “We played well. I just want
to tell the people of Indiana: We’re not better than that.”
Calipari was so impressed with his team’s effort he even
credited it with a win on his personal log, which now lists
Kentucky at 5-5. Officially, the Wildcats are 10-0, off to their
best start since 1992-93, and Calipari has matched the best start
for a first-year Kentucky coach since Adolph Rupp in 1930-31.
Kentucky moved within two wins of becoming the first Division I
school with 2,000 all-time victories, and perhaps more importantly
to Calipari, proved they could fight back when challenged.
Wall, the freshman with the mesmerizing moves, adapted by doing
more of the dirty work Saturday. He finished with 11 points, eight
below his average, eight assists and seven rebounds. Another
freshman, Eric Bledsoe, led Kentucky with 23 points, including four
3-pointers, and junior forward Patrick Patterson was his usual
self, scoring 19 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. It was
Patterson’s fifth double-double of the season.
But when the Wildcats found themselves in need of a boost in the
second half, they used their advantages in size, speed and depth –
under Calipari’s instructions.
“We just wanted to keep the pressure on, continue playing
basketball,” Patterson said. “It started on the defensive end, we
was talking, communicating, switching, contesting shots. DeMarcus
(Cousins) and Ramon (Harris) had some rebounds and John and Eric
were starting the break, pushing it.”
Not surprisingly, the game between the border rivals came with
some new twists.
The frenzied Indiana crowd welcomed Calipari to the series with
repeated reminders of his NCAA trouble. Students chanted “S-A-T,
S-A-T,” a response to questions about who took Derrick Rose’s
standardized tests during Calipari’s tenure at Memphis, and “Hello
Cheater.” Another student held a sign reading: “Calipari borrowed
Though the fans fed the Hoosiers energy, the distractions
couldn’t prevent Kentucky from its eighth win in the last 10
meetings in the series. The teams have been playing on an annual
basis but had played 15 straight years on neutral courts in
Indianapolis and Louisville before going to back to home courts in
Clearly, Indiana (4-5) was better than it was in last season’s
contest, in which they trailed 14-0 and 32-6 in the first half. The
Hoosiers led 12-4 after 4 minutes, nearly matching their 13-point
first-half total from last December.
They just didn’t have enough to contend for 40 minutes.
Freshman Maurice Creek scored a season-high 31 points and hit
five 3s for Indiana. Nobody else scored more than seven points, and
the Hoosiers were outrebounded 49-24 overall, 21-8 on the offensive
“We’re making progress,” coach Tom Crean said. “Where we
didn’t make enough progress was on the boards. We’ve got to do a
much better job of keeping them off the glass. Last year we played
at Kentucky, it was a stunned locker room. Today, it’s a a hurt
locker room and that’s progress, too.”
In fact, the Hoosiers led for the first half of the first half,
right until Patterson missed the second of two free throws, Darius
Miller grabbed the rebound and Bledsoe hit a 10-foot fallaway on
the baseline to make it 21-19 with 9:33 left. The Wildcats then
extended the lead to 38-30.
Three Indiana freshmen responded quickly. Bobby Capobianco put
in a layup, Jordan Hulls hit a 3 from the left corner and Derek
Elston hit a 15-footer from the right wing to make it 38-37.
Things changed quickly in the second half.
After Jeremiah Rivers made a nifty driving layup to give Indiana
a 48-47 lead, Wall scored on an athletic alley-oop dunk. Kentucky
then hit a 3 or converted three-point plays on four of their next
five scoring possessions to make it 65-48.
“I said our job is to make it hard for them in the second half
because they may come out and shoot 70 percent in the second half,
but let’s just make it hard,” Calipari said. “In the first they
shot 63 percent, 62 percent from the 3 and 100 percent from the
foul line and we’re up one. Well, guess what, we played well,