Jodie and the Cats not meek in victory

It was Jodie Meeks day at Freedom Hall on Saturday. Meeks set a new Freedom Hall record for points scored by a UK player by pouring in 46 points in leading the Cats to a 93-69 win over Appalachian State University. The 46 points eclipsed the former record of 42 held by current radio color analyst Mike Pratt.

Junior Jodie Meeks scored on two three-point baskets to cap a Kentucky 10-0 run to start the game against Appalachian State, a run that foreshadowed things to come for the Cats and for the wing guard from Norcross, Georgia.

ASU fought back and trailed by six, 17-11, when the UK offense again went on a big run. This time the Cats reeled off fifteen straight before ASU could answer; giving the Cats a 32-11 lead.

After six straight points were scored by ASU, to make it a 32-17 game, UK once again went on a run. When the smoke cleared a 21-4 run to end the first half sent the Wildcats to the lockerroom with a 53-21 advantage.

With the big lead the Cats continued to play hard in the second-half, seeing their lead grow to as much as 32 on a Meeks three with 4:22 remaining. It was the ninth, and final, three-point field goal of the game for Meeks. The basket tied the record set by Tony Delk in the 1996 NCAA championship game against Syracuse.

Joining Meeks in double figures for the Cats was sophomore Patrick Patterson with 19, to go with seven boards.

Kentucky's once offensive offense appears to have turned the corner, as the Wildcats turned the ball over only three times in the first half. The Cats finished the game with 23 assists on 31 field goals, with 15 turnovers. The UK transition game worked well as it parlayed 18 Appy State turnovers into 33 points; while the Wildcats' transition defense held Appy State to only 11 points off Wildcat turnovers.

UK was outstanding defensively throughout most of the game, and held Appy State to 32.8% from the field, while hittig on 49.2% of their own field goal attempts.

In the post the Cats must threw a block party, with Patterson rejecting four shots while junior Perry Stevenson rejected three. As a team the Wildcats tallied 12 blocked shots on the day.

Meeks' fellow perimeter starters had a lot to do with the improved floor game. Junior Michael Porter dropped five dimes, while only turning the ball over one time in 20 minutes of play; while fellow junior Kevin Galloway had four assists and a single turnover in 12 minutes of play.

Talented, but erratic, freshman Deandre Liggins handed out three assists, but turned the ball over four times.

Free throws continue to be a plus for Gillispie's Kentucky team, as the team shot 95% from the charity stripe, hitting 19 of its 20 attempts.

Junior Ramon Harris returned to action for the first time since his collision with Porter knocked him out of the December 3rd game with Lamar.

The Cats have one day of preparation prior to hosting Tennessee State on Monday night, at 7pm in Rupp Arena. The game is scheduled to be covered by the Big Blue Sports Network and Fox Sports Net South.

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