Hoosiers Fall to Wildcats
Dec. 13, 2008
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Kentucky stormed out of the gate with a 32-6 run in the first 12 minutes as the Wildcats posted a 72-54 win over Indiana at Rupp Arena in Lexington. Indiana is now 5-5 and Kentucky is 7-3 on the young season.
"Obviously, everything that could have gone wrong for us in the first eight minutes did, said IU Coach Tom Crean. "Their pressure, intensity and enthusiasm level was as high as I have seen it this year. We contributed to it with turnovers and some quick shots. We got away from doing what we wanted to do, in keeping the game at a strong pace and that is a tribute to Kentucky and the way they played early on."
The Hoosiers settled down from that point and outscored the hosts 48-40 over the final 28 minutes. Junior Devan Dumes scored 15 second-half points to lead the Hoosiers. The team also benefitted from the return of freshman Verdell Jones III, who had missed the last three games due to a head injury suffered against Cornell. He finished with six points, three rebounds and two steals in 19 minutes.
Kentucky took a 36-13 advantage into the locker room at halftime. After the teams traded baskets during the first 1:30 of the second half, the Hoosiers went on a 11-1 run to cut into the Kentucky lead. Jones' two free throws with 11:51 to go cut the lead to 41-26.
"We came out in the second half with a lot of energy," said freshman Tom Pritchard. "We knew there was not a lot more wrong that we could do. We switched our defense up a little bit and they got a little flustered with it and we stuck with it and did what we could do."
The Hoosiers played lockdown defense in the second half, holding Kentucky without a field goal and just one free throw for 7:07. The Wildcats were able to up the edge to 49-28, but a steal by Jones and layup with 5:28 to go made it 52-36.
UK again upped the margin to 21 thanks to 20 second half free throws. However, freshman Matt Roth came off the bench to knock down two of his team-high three triples cut the edge to 67-52 with 37 ticks left. Freshman Nick Williams continued his solid all-around play for the Hoosiers with eight points and four rebounds.
"We have to get better," said Dumas. "We really have to focus more. We have to play the full 40 minutes, especially when times are tough. We don't have starts like that at home. So, we just have to start off like we are at home every night."
Indiana will take the next nine days off as they begin final exams on Monday. The Hoosiers will host Northeastern at 9 p.m., Monday, December 22.
"We just have to continue to improve, which we are," said Crean. "We have to have a very good week academically and they have been great in there and have a chance to have a very good semester academically. These guys have been very good with what they have done academically, but at the same time we have to get better. It's about really locking in and keep improving."
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