Originally created 12/23/01

Hoosiers can't compete with Wildcats



INDIANAPOLIS - Kentucky had too many weapons and too much defense for Indiana to deal with Saturday.

The No. 7 Wildcats got 17 points each from Tayshaun Prince and Cliff Hawkins, and relied on a defense that took the Hoosiers out of their game to win 66-52 at the RCA Dome.

"There's no way we should beat a team like this," Indiana coach Mike Davis said. "They're very good; they should have beaten Duke. All I can say is that our guys learned a lot today."

Kentucky (7-2) won for the second straight time against the Hoosiers, and the ninth time in the past 11 meetings against Indiana (6-4).

Indiana struggled to contain Hawkins in the first half, when he scored 11 points. After making adjustments in the second half, Prince made the Hoosiers (6-4) pay again by scoring another 11 points.

"It was a good all-around game for us, especially defensively," Kentucky coach Tubby Smith said. "I couldn't be prouder of the way our guys competed. I thought it was one of our best defensive efforts all year."

The numbers attested to it.

Indiana shot just 32.1 percent from the field, even worse than the dismal 33.3 percentage it managed at Miami one week earlier.

The Hoosiers also were a dreadful 17.6 percent from 3-point range, were outrebounded 43-36, and the victory margin was the largest in the eight games played between the two teams at the RCA Dome.

"Indiana played us tough, but we did the things we had to do," Hawkins said. "We knew they were a good 3-point-shooting team, so we had to stop that. We had to keep them off the foul line and keep them off the backboards."

Kentucky succeeded in every respect.

The Wildcats used a 9-0 run to take a 13-7 lead 6:24 into the game and never trailed again.

Kentucky then broke open the game with a 14-4 spurt late in the half and although the Hoosiers closed the half on a 7-0 run, the Wildcats still led 40-32.

Even then, Davis knew his team was in trouble.

"I think they were so good, so physical, so quick, that it really took a lot out of us," he said. "Then the game became hard for us to play at both ends."

Kentucky also struggled - early in the second half.

The Wildcats managed just Keith Bogans' layup and a 10-footer from Prince in the first 3:40 of the second half.

Yet Indiana could not take advantage.

The Hoosiers closed to eight twice before Kentucky went on 6-0 run and extended the lead to 54-38 with 12:35 remaining.

Indiana trimmed the margin to 54-43, but Kentucky responded with six straight points to pull away and Indiana never challenged again.

The Hoosiers were led by Jarrad Odle with 12 points and Jared Jeffries who had 10 points and 11 rebounds.

"It's always fun when you play well and win," Smith said. "What we're not getting, though, is consistent pressure to wear a team down, but I also think that's why we are beating teams - because we can throw so many different guys at them."