Dec. 12, 2009
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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Fourth-ranked Kentucky (10-0) used an 18-0 run in the second half to break open a close game as they defeated Indiana, 90-73, in front of a sold out Assembly Hall crowd of 17,316.
"We are making progress," said IU Coach Tom Crean. "We didn't make progress nearly good enough on the back boards. We weren't nearly good enough with our guard rebounding. When you are playing against a team that has the size and strength of Kentucky, which is a rarity, you've got to do a much better job of keeping them off of the glass."
Coming off a win at the Jimmy V Classic in New York, the Hoosiers played with renewed confidence, thanks to a career-night from freshman guard Maurice Creek. The Maryland native scored the team's first five points as the Hoosiers built leads of 12-4 with 16:44 in the first half and 17-9 with 14:52 to go. Creek is the first IU freshman since frosh became eligible in 1973 to score more than 30 points against UK. Bracey Wright, who was a junior, is the only other IU player to score more than 30 points against UK since the 1971-72 season. IU Hall of Famer Steve Downing had 47 points against the Wildcats on December 11, 1971.
However, Kentucky, behind the hot shooting of freshman Eric Bledsoe who finished with 23 points, took their first lead at 21-19 with 9:32 to go in the half and led 36-27 after a dunk by freshman John Wall.
Indiana would use a layup by freshman Bobby Capobianco, a triple by frosh Jordan Hulls and a jumper from Derek Elston to make it 38-37 with 2:06 remaining. Senior Devan Dumes would make a layup off a miss by Creek and the Wildcats led 42-42 aqt halftime.
"Both teams were having trouble with awareness, said Crean. "In the first half we shot 60 percent, I think they shot 57 or 58 percent. Whatever it was, it didn't matter what defense we were in, we were a day late and a dollar short on our close outs and we moved on the catch rather that the pass. It does not matter what defense you are in, you cannot be late. We allowed too much confidence, to happen. When we were following our gameplan, when we were adjusting to them, we were doing some very good things. When we gave up open shots and when we gave them rebounds and second chance points, we weren't doing as many good things and that's the stuff that we have to continue to learn. Physical growth and maturity will help with that."
It looked like Indiana, was poised to battle in the second half when Creek nailed a three-pointer to make it 44-44 early in the second half, and Rivers made a layup with 17:42 to go to give IU its last lead at 48-47.
From that point on, UK went on their game changing run and the Hoosiers could get no closer than 71-59 with 8:50 to go. In the second half, UK shot 50 percent from the floor and IU managed to make just 33 percent of its shots.
In addition, the Wildcats outrebounded the Hoosiers, 49-24 and had a 30-6 advantage in second chance points.
"We have to have an incredible amount of fight every time we play," said Crean. "That's a hurting locker room. When you lose, you don't want to see it be any different than that. A year ago we played at Kentucky, it was a stunned locker room, this year we play Kentucky, it's a hurt locker room. That's progress to me as well."
The Hoosiers will take a week off for finals before hosting North Carolina Central on Saturday, December 19th.