Patterson-less Wildcats fall to Houston 83-69

HOUSTON, TX -- All season long, Wildcat fans have waited for the return of a healthy Jodie Meeks to the lineup, something that has not been seen this season. Meeks returned tonight to score 21 points for the Wildcats (17 in the first half), but with an injured Patrick Patterson out, the Cats were no match for the Houston Cougars, and fell 83-69. The loss was Kentucky's fourth in a row.

Too many turnovers, too many offensive rebounds given up, and too much of the Houston Cougars doomed Kentucky tonight. Although the Wildcats welcomed the arrival of Meeks back to the lineup after a six-game absence while a fractured pelvis healed, Kentucky's leading rebounder and second-leading scorer, freshman Patrick Patterson, went down with an ankle injury earlier in the day and could not play.

Patterson's absence was quickly noted, as Houston gathered 16 offensive rebounds--11 in the first half alone--and had 28 second chance points in the game to Kentucky's seven. Houston also forced Kentucky into double the turnovers they had, winning the turnover margin 18-9.

Kentucky was led in scoring by Joe Crawford, who managed 28 points on 9-18 shooting. Meeks' 21 points on 7-14 shooting (4-9 from 3-point range) represented the only Wildcats in double figures.

Houston (10-1) was led by Dion Dowell's 19 points and Robert McGiver added 18. Lanny Smith, Tafari Toney, and Marcus Malone combined to add 29 points for the Cougars, who are off to their best start since the 1983-84 Houston team that went to the national championship game.

Injuries have plagued Kentucky all season. Tonight's starting lineup was the eighth different lineup in nine contests. Former walk-on sophomore Mark Coury is the only Wildcat to start all nine games.

With their fourth consecutive loss, Kentucky dips under the .500 mark at 4-5. The Wildcats will return to Rupp Arena Saturday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. to face Tennessee Tech.

AllWildcats Top Stories