Hoosiers hate, but Cats dominate

Cliff Hawkins and Tayshaun Prince each scored 17 points to lead Kentucky past Indiana on Saturday in a game Hoosiers coach Mike Davis said he wanted badly because he "hates Kentucky."

INDIANAPOLIS --- Mike Davis may have spent too much time loathing the opponent this past week rather than devising a plan to beat them.

The Indiana coach, who stated publically that he "hated Kentucky with a passion" and wanted to win Saturday's game "in the worst way," watched as his Hoosiers couldn't muster as much execution as emotion in a 66-52 loss at the RCA Dome.

Keith Bogans battles a pair of Indiana players for a loose ball. (AP Photo)

Kentucky (7-2) got 17 points each from Cliff Hawkins and Tayshaun Prince and had the Hoosiers flustered at nearly every step along the way with its aggressive defense. The No. 7 Wildcats held Indiana (6-4) to 32 percent shooting from the field, was 3-for-17 from 3-point range and committed 16 turnovers.

After the game, Davis sounded more like a man who had reached a reckoning.

"There's no way we should beat a team like this," he said. "They were so good, so physical, so quick, that it really took a lot out of us. Then the game became hard for us to play at both ends...

"They're very good. They should have beaten Duke. All I can say is that our guys learned a lot today."

"It was a good all-around game for us, especially defensively," said Kentucky coach Tubby Smith, whose team bounced back from a tough 95-92 overtime loss to No. 1 Duke on Tuesday in the Jimmy V Classic. "I couldn't be prouder of the way our guys competed. I thought it was one of our best defensive efforts all year."

In addition to his scoring, Prince grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds and was largely responsible for holding Indiana star forward Jared Jeffries to 10 points, six below his season average, on 4-of-15 shooting from the field.

"Every time he got close to the basket, they blocked his shot," Davis said. "Prince did a good job head-on. All their big guys did a good job."

Jules Camara had two of Kentucky's four blocked shots. Prince was credited with one, but appeared to have more than that. Marvin Stone also added a block off the bench.

"We kind of stacked our defense to limit (Jeffries)," Smith said. "Certainly, Tayshaun did a good job on him. He was just superb."

The Cats claimed their ninth win in the last 11 meetings against the Hoosiers.

For the second straight game, Hawkins was the catalyst for UK at the offensive end of the floor. After falling behind 14-13 in the game's opening moments, the Cats responded with a 20-7 run that saw their sophomore point guard score or assist on 15 of the points.

"He did a good job of taking control and being the leader out there on the floor," Smith said. "You could tell he wanted the ball in his hands."

A pair of acrobatic dunks by Prince helped UK take its biggest lead of the first half (37-23) with 2:10 remaining. The first was a rebound jam, and the second a one-handed reverse slam off a lob from Hawkins.

On the verge of being blown out, Indiana responded with a 7-0 run to close the first half and cut the margin to 40-32. But the Hoosiers could get no closer in the second half as Kentucky's depth and defense took command. Reserve guards Rashaad Carruth and Adam Chiles hit a jumper and 3-pointer, respectively, in an 8-2 spurt that pushed the lead back to 16 points midway through the final stanza.

"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."

"We were really tired early on," Davis said.

"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 won the rebounding battle 43-36. Marquis Estill and Keith Bogans complemented Prince's 11 boards with six and five, respectively.

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

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