Indiana girls finish sweep of cold-shooting Kentucky stars

mfields@herald-leader.comJune 14, 2014 

Indiana's Kindell Fincher was sandwiched by Kentucky's Essence Gray, left, and Ivy Brown. Brown led Kentucky with 11 points.

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana's girls got their first All-Star sweep in five years as they crushed Kentucky 83-56 in Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Saturday night.

Indiana followed a different script from Friday night when Ana Owens and Whitney Jennings combined for 47 points in an 83-70 victory in Lexington.

After pouring in 26 points in the opener, Owens had 10 Saturday night. Jennings, Miss Basketball, had 21 Friday night and 14 in the rematch.

Kentucky did a good job collapsing on the two point guards, but that defense came with a price.

Owens (Cincinnati signee) and Jennings (Iowa) dished off to teammates who got open looks.

Owens had seven assists and Jennings had five.

Sydney Buck (Butler) was one of the beneficiaries. She knocked down four three-pointers and had 14 points.

Lauren Whitlach and Kindell Fincher also hit threes and combined for 12 points.

"The way we were able to share the ball was awesome," Coach Eric Thornton said.

After making 10 of 14 threes Friday night, the Hoosiers hit eight of 18 on their home court.

Kentucky, which was 4-for-25 on threes in the opening loss, went 5-for-23 the second time around.

Kentucky didn't just have trouble finding the basket from long range. It missed a bunch of gimmes, too.

"It was like there was a lid on the basket at times," Coach Jennifer Parsons said.

Especially in the second half when Kentucky missed 35 of 41 shots. The girls from the Bluegrass finished the night shooting 22 percent.

LaRue County's Ivy Brown (WKU), Miss Basketball, led Kentucky with 11 points and seven rebounds.

Anderson County's Eriel McKee (Morehead State) had 10 points and 10 rebounds, and her Anderson County teammate Makenzie Cann (Cincinnati) hit three threes for nine points.

Abby Owings had seven points, and Javonna Layfield contributed five points and eight rebounds.

After Kentucky fell behind by 23 points Friday night before closing strong, Brown said the team needed to bring more intensity from the start in the rematch.

She didn't see that happen Saturday night.

"It was a little bit better, but not what it should've been," she said.

Parsons credited Indiana for taking the wind out of Kentucky's sails.

"Every time we made a run, it was answered by them," she said. "It seemed everything we were doing, they were doing better.

"It was frustrating."

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

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