Hoosiers Extend Home Winning Streak to 23 in Rout of Wildcats
Dec. 8, 2007
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) -- Jordan Crawford's three-game suspension made him hungrier Saturday.
He wanted to beat Kentucky, outdo his brother, Joe, and show his Indiana teammates what they had been missing since late November.
With Indiana's starting guards sitting out and his parents watching from behind the Indiana bench, Crawford delivered a masterpiece. The freshman scored 20 points in his first career start and led the 15th-ranked Hoosiers to a 70-51 rout over border rival Kentucky.
"I was more motivated about just getting back out there," Crawford said. "I didn't want to make this a one-on-one battle. My team had three good wins without me, and I wanted to get them one."
Crawford did just that in one of the Hoosiers' biggest rivalries.
With his nifty ball-handling, crisp passes, impressive shooting and solid defense, Crawford turned the battle of the brothers into a lopsided affair.
Friends and family took the cue.
Crawford's parents, clad in mixed Indiana and Kentucky gear behind the Hoosiers bench, laughed when officials separated the brothers during a shoving incident early in the game and were amused when fans chanted "Jordan's better" several times throughout the game.
But it was more about what Kentucky didn't do.
Kentucky shot poorly, turned the ball over too much and had two starters foul out in the first 10:02 of the second half. Even Joe Crawford, who joined Kentucky's 1,000-point club last week, couldn't get his team righted.
Patrick Patterson led the Wildcats (4-3) with 15 points in a second straight loss to a traditional power. Kentucky lost to No. 1 North Carolina last week, and for only the third time in the last 14 games of this passionate series.
"They whipped us in every aspect and they did it with a short-handed team," Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie said. "We're not happy about that."
The Hoosiers (8-1) have won 23 straight home games, and coach Kelvin Sampson is a perfect 21-0 at Assembly Hall since taking over as Indiana's coach last season.
This victory, however, deviated from the Hoosiers' usual script.
D.J. White finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds, joining the Hoosiers' 1,000-point club.
If Kentucky thought those absences would make it easy, the Wildcats discounted the impact Jordan Crawford could have.
"It was time for him [Jordan] to step up and get it going," Joe Crawford Sr. said at halftime, wearing an Indiana hat and a Kentucky sweat shirt.
The younger brother pestered Kentucky by jumping into the passing lanes, knocking balls away and getting Kentucky's Ramel Bradley into early foul trouble. Offensively, he was even better. He hit a 3-pointer over his older brother, drove confidently to the basket and routinely found open teammates.
By game's end, the younger brother had the upper hand in the one-on-one game, 20-10.
But that wasn't the toughest part for the Kentucky senior to accept.
"We've got to figure out what the problem is," Joe Crawford said. "I'm just kind of hurt right now. The most frustrating thing about it was us just not fighting. It's hard to go down like that when we're not making any runs or just not fighting at any time."
Indiana took control midway through the first half with a 15-5 run that expanded the lead to 29-15 with 6:11 left in the first half.
Kentucky closed to 31-23 when Joe Crawford stole the ball from his brother and drove in for a layup. But Jordan Crawford made three of four free throws in the final 90 seconds, during a five-point flurry that gave Indiana a 37-25 halftime lead.
The second half was all Hoosiers.
Indiana scored the first nine points in the second half, building a 46-25 lead, and then things turned ugly for the Wildcats. Bradley fouled out with 13:51 left, and Michael Porter fouled out with 9:58 to go.
Even when something did go right, like Joe Crawford's driving layup at the 12:49 mark, the Wildcats still made mistakes. Crawford drew a technical foul after the play.
The result: Kentucky never got closer than 17 points the rest of the way, and Jordan Crawford walked away with a win and family bragging rights.
"It looked like joy and pain," Sylvia Crawford said, dressed in a Santa Claus with UK on the front. "The reality is you can only expect that they're both going to do their best and do something to show that they're committed to their team. I think that's what they both did."
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