Hoosiers Go Cold Against Cats

Indiana couldn't get anything to fall, so ultimately they did to Kentucky. The Hoosiers missed 50 of their 72 shots, including 21 of 25 attempts from behind the 3-point arc, and dropped an occasionally ugly but extremely hard fought game to Kentucky, 59-54 at Rupp Arena in Lexington.

Indiana couldn't get anything to fall, so ultimately they did to Kentucky.

The Hoosiers missed 50 of their 72 shots, including 21 of 25 attempts from behind the 3-point arc, and dropped an occasionally ugly but extremely hard fought game to Kentucky, 59-54 at Rupp Arena in Lexington.

Fittingly, the Hoosiers last chance was a contested, leaning 3-point attempt from Lance Stemler with 11 seconds remaining and Indiana trailing 57-54. Stemler's shot missed badly, the last of his six errant 3-point attempts on the afternoon. Kentucky's Jodie Meeks converted a pair of free throws at the other end, and Kentucky escaped with its sixth win in seven games against Indiana.

Indiana slipped to 5-3 with the setback, while Kentucky improved to 6-3.

"You have to make shots," said IU Coach Kelvin Sampson. "We had some good looks – looks our kids can make. Lance Stemler, I promise you, is better than 0-for-7."

Stemler, who went without a point Saturday, wasn't the only Hoosier to struggle from the floor. Earl Calloway and A.J. Ratliff were each 2-for-10 from the field while Armon Bassett was 0-for-4. The team's only 3-pointers came from Errek Suhr and Roderick Wilmont, both of whom hit a pair. Wilmont's two 3-pointers came in a 38-second span in the second half that wiped out a 47-41 Kentucky lead and tied the game 47-47 with 6:27 left.

But a conventional 3-point play from Randolph Morris put Kentucky back on top and the Wildcats would never relinquish the lead.

While Indiana struggled from the perimeter, D.J. White dominated on the interior. White finished with 23 points, nine rebounds and four blocks while playing a season-high 39 minutes. He was one of only two Hoosiers in double figures, as Wilmont added 13.

"DJ got 19 shots – he scored the ball," Sampson said. "(But) we have some others who can step up and score some points. We're not a one trick pony."

As good as White was for Indiana, Kentucky's Morris was equally effective for Tubby Smith. Morris – who was forced to sit out last year's IU-UK game due to an NCAA suspension - finished with 16 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks. Bobby Perry (11 points) and Ramel Bradley (10) also reached double figures for Kentucky.

It was a game that went back-and-forth throughout. There was 14 lead changes, and the biggest lead was a seven-point IU margin, 16-9, in the first half. That lead quickly evaporated, and Kentucky held a 28-26 edge at intermission.

The second half featured more of the same. Kentucky opened three different six-point leads, only to see each vanish. The final time was when Wilmont's back-to-back 3-pointers tied the game at 47 and gave Indiana a chance to win in Lexington for the first time since 1988.

In spite of several opportunities in the closing minutes, it wasn't to be for Sampson's Hoosiers.

With Indiana trailing 57-52 with 2:00 left, Joey Shaw stole the ball from Bradley under the IU basket and scored to cut the lead to 57-54. Seconds later, Calloway forced a turnover by UK freshman guard Derrick Jasper and raced up floor for a layup, but Jasper recovered in time to block Calloway's attempt. Wilmont then missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer with 1:08 remaining.

But the Hoosiers would get one more chance to tie. After Meeks missed a 3-pointer of his own with :32.9 remaining, Indiana had a chance to send the game into overtime. But Stemler's leaner from the right wing ricocheted off the rim and out of bounds, and Meeks secured the win with two free throws at the other end.

The loss was Indiana's second straight on the road, coming on the heels of another hard fought 54-51 setback at Duke in late November. Indiana did plenty of good things – it out-rebounded Kentucky 42-39, forced 17 UK turnovers and had a season-high 11 steals – but ultimately the inability to knock down shots was the Hoosiers' undoing.

"We're getting road tougher, and now we have to learn how to win the game on the road," Sampson said.

INDIANA 54
D. White 10-19 4-5 23, Stemler 0-7 0-0 0, Wilmont 5-11 1-2 13, Suhr 2-5 0-0 6, Bassett 0-4 0-0 0, Calloway 2-10 1-2 5, Ratliff 2-10 0-0 4, Shaw 1-4 0-0 2, M. White 0-2 1-2 1. Totals 22-72 6-9 54.

KENTUCKY 59
Perry 5-9 1-2 11, Morris 6-12 4-5 16, Bradley 2-9 6-6 10, Crawford 4-9 1-1 9, Jasper 1-2 0-2 2, Stevenson 3-3 0-2 6, Meeks 1-3 2-2 5, Porter 0-0 0-0 0, Obrzut 0-0 0-0 0, Thomas 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 22-49 14-20 59.

3-Pointers: Indiana 4-25 (Wilmont 2-7, Suhr 2-4, Calloway 0-2, Ratliff 0-3, Bassett 0-3, Stemler 0-6). Kentucky 1-11 (Meeks 1-2, Bradley 0-4, Perry 0-2, Crawford 0-3). Rebounds: Indiana 42 (White 9), Kentucky 39 (Morris 10). Assists: Indiana 9 (3), Kentucky 14 (Bradley 5). Steals: Indiana 11 (Calloway 3), Kentucky 5 (Crawford 2). Turnovers: Indiana 11 (Calloway 3), Kentucky 17 (Jasper 5). Blocks: Indiana 5 (D. White 4), Kentucky 8 (Morris 4). Attendance: 24,253. Officials: Mike Stuart, Bert Smith, Tom Eades.

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