All-Star girls: Hoosier sharpshooters bury Kentucky

mfields@herald-leader.comJune 13, 2014 

  • Girls: Kentucky vs. Indiana

    When: 5 p.m. Saturday

    Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis

    TV: Fox Sports South

Indiana's girls mistakenly packed white (home) uniforms for Friday night's all-star showdown with Kentucky at Transylvania.

The Hoosiers played like they were right at home, too, as they lit it up from long range on their way to a 83-70 victory in the Beck Center.

Indiana hit 10 of 14 three-pointers (71 percent).

"They were good threes, too," Hoosiers Coach Eric Thornton said. "The kids did a great job running our stuff and taking high-percentage shots."

[Read about Friday night's Kentucky-Indiana boys' game]

Ana Owens and Whitney Jennings, a pair of quick, sharp-shooting point guards, led the winners.

Owens, who's headed to Cincinnati, had 26 points, including three threes and three assists.

"I could tell early she had a little bounce in her step," Thornton said. "She can pull up on a dime or get to the rim. She's just so skilled."

Owens said she had to come out and play well. "I didn't want to waste my parents' time. They traveled 31/2 hours to get here."

Jennings, Indiana's Miss Basketball and an Iowa signee, had 21 points, including three threes and three steals.

Thornton said Owens and Jennings were like "a two-headed monster out there. They're tough to guard."

Kentucky Coach Jennifer Parsons agreed.

"They just feed off each other," she said. "They do an excellent job with dribble-drive. They're hard to guard."

While the Hoosiers hit from everywhere, Kentucky couldn't find the basket. It missed 15 of its first 20 shots to fall behind by 14 early.

Kentucky, which had to make a last-minute switch to blue uniforms, never found the range from behind the arc. It finished the night 4-for-25 (16 percent) on threes.

"That was disappointing because that's what we've been good at this week," Parsons said. "And only a handful of those 25 threes tonight weren't good shot selection. We just didn't make them."

LaRue County's Ivy Brown, Miss Basketball, said it was the rub of the game. "Every team has those bad nights, but you've gotta keep shooting and not give up."

Brown finished with 10 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three blocks.

Kentucky was led by Ballard's Javonna Layfield, who had 18 points, six rebounds and three steals.

Danielle Lawrence of state champion Butler had 13 points, and Eriel McKee of Anderson County had 12.

Indiana, led by a flurry of scoring by Owens, opened a 23-point lead (68-45) midway through the second half.

Kentucky didn't flinch. Sparked by Layfield and McKee, the hosts rallied to within eight points before the Hoosiers stretched the lead back to a comfortable margin.

"I wasn't worried," Owens said. "I knew our team would pick up the defense and we'd be all right."

Parsons was encouraged by Kentucky's comeback.

"I liked the effort and the way the girls were competing hard," she said.

"We need to start with that kind of effort and intensity (Saturday) night."

Indiana's girls will go for their first sweep of Kentucky in five years in Indianapolis Saturday night in Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

Mike Fields: (859) 231-3337. Twitter: @MikeFieldsNotes. Blog: fieldsnotes.bloginky.com.

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