The victory provided the Cats and their fans some degree pf payback from the 79-53 drubbing Indiana imposed on Kentucky last season. "I think the weight has definitely been taken off our shoulders," said Randolph Morris, "It feels good to win a close game against a very solid team and one of our rivals. It was definitely a statement for us to pull out a close one under pressure." Junior Randolph Morris and Senior Bobby Perry both produced "double-doubles" for Kentucky in the win. D.J. White had 23 points and nine rebounds for Indiana in the loss.
The game was a tight contest throughout, with multiple lead changes. In the first half Indiana overcame a 6-2 deficit building a 16-11 lead at the 8:50 mark of the first half largely behind the play of D.J. White. But the Wildcats would keep the game tight and two freshmen, Perry Stevenson and Jodie Meeks, combined for the Wildcats' final seven points of the period to give the Cats a modest two-point cushion at the helf.
Juniors Joe Crawford, Ramel Bradley and Perry would score a bucket apiece to open the second half and provide the Cats a 6-point cushion but Indiana would go on a run of their own. Coming off the bench IU's Early Calloway scored four points in a 9-2 Hoosier run to put coach Kelvin Sampson's team back on top 39-36.
But over the next four minutes Morris, Crawford and Perry would key a Kentucky 11-2 run and put the Cats on top for good at 47-41. Indiana would pull to within two points at 52-50 but the Cats hit their free throws and made the critical plays down the stretch to keep the Hoosiers at bay and run its record to 6-3.
"We definitely needed a win like this and it's going to carry over into the next game," said Ramel Bradley, "We've got to focus on Louisville now, but it feels good to get a win against a rival school. We have another big rival game next weekend."
The Wildcats do not play again until next Saturday when the Louisville Cardinals come to town. Kentucky has split the last four meetings with Louisville but the Cats have won five of the last seven meetings with the Cardinals and hold a 25-12 record in the history of their rivalry dating back to 1913.
The Cards are 3-2 so far this year with their most notable game coming against #14-ranked Arizona. UL played tough but fell to the "other" Wildcats 72-65.