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Wildcats put clamps on Hoosiers

Associated Press
Published December 21, 2003

INDIANAPOLIS - Kentucky was too quick, too strong and just too good for Indiana on Saturday.

The No. 2 Wildcats took advantage of their inside game, then used a suffocating defense to limit the Hoosiers to 15 second-half points and their lowest point total in nearly 20 years in an 80-41 rout.

"We played with a different attitude in the second half and a different effort," Kentucky coach Tubby Smith said.

The Wildcats (6-0) looked like a team intent on reaching No. 1. They won their 26th straight regular-season game and had a huge advantage inside, where they outscored Indiana 48-16 and outrebounded them 54-35.

Chuck Hayes had a career-high 22 points, and Erik Daniels added 19. Hayes and Daniels each grabbed 10 rebounds.

"It just shows that we came ready to play and don't underestimate us," Hayes said. "We are a good team."

For coach Mike Davis, it was one of his bleakest days since taking over the Hoosiers (4-4) four years ago, even in a series that has been filled with forgettable moments.

Saturday's loss was the worst of Davis' career, six points worse than Indiana's defeat at Wake Forest on Dec. 2, and his fourth straight loss against Kentucky.

It was also the Hoosiers' worst defeat in the 47-game series, breaking a mark that had stood since 1965 when Kentucky won 91-56. The last time Indiana was held to 41 points was Jan. 27, 1985, in a 52-41 loss at Illinois.

The blowout took its toll on Davis. At times, he acted like Bob Knight, the man he replaced, by repeatedly scolding his players on the court.

But at least he was around for the game's finish. Last year against Kentucky, he was ejected and eventually suspended one game after berating on official.

This time, Davis' anger was directed toward his players.

After skipping his postgame news conference and talking to his team for nearly an hour, Davis finally emerged from the locker room with his critique.

"I told them I was disappointed in our lack of concentration," he said. "We went over our game plan. We had a game plan. It didn't start in the second half. We didn't execute in the first half like I wanted to, either."

Huskies are healthy

HARTFORD, Conn. - The Huskies enter the holiday break confident and healthy. Emeka Okafor's chronic back pain is gone. Taliek Brown has overcome hip and toe injuries and has his speed back. And Ben Gordon? He just keeps going, recording one of his best games with his first triple double in a 104-54 victory over Iona. The junior guard finished with 16 rebounds, 11 assists and 17 points. "I was getting a lot of long rebounds and tried to chase down every loose ball that was near me," Gordon said. "It's good to go into the break with this kind of game for the team. Everybody just contributed today." The Huskies (8-1) were playing in their first game since reclaiming the top ranking. The Gaels (2-5) were held to 29 percent shooting.

NO. 6 KU 72, UC SANTA BARBARA 52: Keith Langford scored 19 and Wayne Simien 15 points to go with 16 rebounds for the Jayhawks (6-1) in the Nevada Holiday Classic. Kansas' Aaron Miles scored all 13 of his in the second half. Casey Cook scored 16 for the Gauchos (5-3), who turned the ball over 26 times. Miles had five steals and five assists for Kansas, which plays Nevada tonight in the final.

NO. 8 OKLAHOMA 68, JACKSON STATE 46: Drew Lavender led the host Sooners in scoring for the third consecutive game. The freshman guard had 23 points and five assists as Oklahoma (8-0) remained unbeaten. Ishmael Joyce led Jackson State (2-5) with 13 points.

NO. 16 CINCINNATI 89, MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE 54: Tony Bobbitt was 6-for-6 and had 15 points for the host Bearcats (6-0). Former Florida Gator James White, who transferred last year, made his Cincinnati debut and finished with eight points. The Blue Raiders (4-3) finished with 25 turnovers.

NO. 17 PURDUE 80, IUPUI 69: Matt Kiefer scored 23 to lift the hosts of the Boilermaker Invitational. Chris Booker added 18 for Purdue (8-1), which will meet SMU in the final. David Simon led IUPUI (2-7) with 19.

NO. 18 PITTSBURGH 70, MURRAY STATE 49: Levon Kendall, barely used in the first nine games, led a decisive first-half surge that carried the host Panthers. Kendall, a redshirt freshman who had scored only four points all season, had 11.

NO. 19 SYRACUSE 74, SIENA 61: Hakim Warrick had 24 points and 10 rebounds as the host Orangemen (5-1) won a fifth consecutive game. Craig Forth scored 14, a career high, in the win. The Saints (3-5) were led by Michael Haddix's 19 points.

NO. 20 LOUISVILLE 80, AUSTIN PEAY 63: Francisco Garcia scored 21 and Luke Whitehead added 17 and seven rebounds to pace the host Cardinals to their fifth straight victory. Garcia also had eight assists, matching a career high, and went over 20 points for the fourth consecutive game. Louisville (5-1) won its 20th straight nonconference home game. Adrian Henning had 15 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Governors (3-5).

NO. 22 WISCONSIN 63, NO. 23 MARQUETTE 59: Alando Tucker scored 17 points, including the game-deciding free throw with 7 seconds remaining, for the host Badgers (7-1). Devin Harris added 15 points in Wisconsin's 19th consecutive home win. Travis Diener scored 19 for the Eagles (7-2).

NO. 24 DAYTON 78, PRAIRIE VIEW 65: Sean Finn set a career high with 27 for the host Flyers (9-0). Finn, a 7-foot center, shot 12-for-13 from the field and finished with 10 rebounds for his third consecutive double double.

UCLA: The Bruins honored John Wooden and his late wife, Nell, by naming the basketball court for them, 28 years after Wooden retired from coaching with a record 10 national titles.

Wooden, 93, coached the Bruins from 1948-75. During that time, UCLA won seven straight national championships, an NCAA record 88-game winning streak, and four 30-0 seasons.

"I'm glad that they did this in a timely way because we take it for granted that he's going to be around forever," said Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, known as Lew Alcindor when he starred for UCLA in the late 1960s. "He can enjoy it and we can enjoy him and the day."

More than 70 of Wooden's former players - many with gray hair and heavier than their playing days - were on hand. They included Bill Walton and Walt Hazzard.

ARIZONA: The No. 7 Wildcats added some much-needed depth to their front line when 6-foot-10, 28-pound Serbian forward Ivan Radenovic joined the team.

Radenovic, 6-foot-10 and 218 pounds, graduated from the Secondary School of Sports in Belgrade, Sebria-Montenegro, in May and played two seasons for the KK Partizan youth team.

The 19-year-old freshman will be eligible Dec. 28.

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