Before Kentucky continued its no-pity party Monday night, Patrick Patterson and Jodie Meeks joked about how each would light up the scoreboard like, well, a Christmas tree.
"I was getting on him about his 46," Patterson said, meaning the 46 points Meeks doused Appalachian State with Saturday afternoon. "You're going to do that again."
The ever-modest Meeks deferred to Patterson.
"No," he said. "This is your night."
UK's 102-58 victory over Tennessee State showed both close enough to correct.
Patterson and Meeks became the first UK teammates to score 30 or more points since Dec. 10, 1975, when Jack Givens had 31 points and Rick Robey 30 in a 91-69 victory over Miami (Ohio) in Memorial Coliseum.
Patterson scored a career-high 33 points, two more than he amassed three weeks ago against Lamar. He made 15 of 17 shots, which handsomely supported Meeks' contention that "It's never wrong to throw it inside to him."
Meeks added 32, which included seven three-point baskets in a 27-point first half.
"I thought I saw flames on his fingertips," Patterson said.
Either Patterson or Meeks or both could have threatened the Rupp Arena record for points by a Cat (Derrick Miller, 40) or an opposing player (David Robinson, 45).
But both exited the game before the final television timeout. Patterson left the game with 5:23 left. He had just eclipsed his previous career high with a dunk and three-point play off a fast break.
Of UK's avalanche of points, Coach Billy Gillispie said, "It all stems from the big guys running."
Meeks, who became the first Kentucky player since Miller in 1989 to score 30 or more in consecutive games, took a seat with 4:41 left.
Noting Meeks' four assists and six rebounds against Tennessee State, Gillispie said, "In some ways this is a better performance to me" than the 46 points against Appy State.
Meeks burned brightest in the final minutes of the first half. He nearly matched Tennessee State's first-half point total in the final 5:49. In that span, he scored 19 points — including his team's final 11 points — as UK went into halftime ahead 59-24.
Meeks swished or rattled in five three-pointers in the final 5:49. That sharp-shooting inspired chants of Jo-die, Jo-die. Fans held up "3" signs. After three three-pointers in less than two minutes, one UK rooter (who apparently had too much eggnog) shouted, "Shoot it, you're open!" as the UK junior guard began dribbling the ball upcourt near his defensive foul line.
"No, I didn't hear that," Meeks said with a smile before adding, "That's a little too far."
Given Meeks' incandescence, a three-point shot from close to the center-court logo was okey-dokey.
"A little bit of a heat check," Meeks called it. He missed wide right.
It evoked memories of Tayshaun Prince's long-range rapid-fire bombing against North Carolina here in December 2001.
"I saw it on YouTube a couple times," Meeks said. "I really didn't think of it there. It was just a game situation."
Meeks did match Prince. The seven three-pointers tied the UK record (Prince and Miller) for treys in a half.
On cue, the highlight of Prince's shooting appeared on the video screens after the teams left the court at intermission.
The first half required a defensive video, too.
The Cats smothered Tennessee State throughout most of the half. The Tigers didn't score until Gershom Jordan's putback with 13:24 left. That basket reduced UK's lead to 15-2.
Other than putbacks, Tennessee State did not score until a heavily challenged leaner in the lane by Gerald Robinson with 7:56 left. The Tigers scored only four baskets in the half that weren't putbacks and shot with only 26.5-percent accuracy (9-for-34).
A relatively quiet Meeks in the second half was no factor in terms of the game's competitiveness.
Patterson took charge, scoring 14 of UK's first 20 points. He finished with 23 second-half points.
Gillispie enjoyed how Meeks and Patterson played off each other as an inside-outside combination.
When asked how much teamwork led to the scoring, Gillispie said, "For Patrick, it was like 95 percent the way they reversed the ball. ... He doesn't need a lot of help. When they do help him, he has a night like this.
"Nobody was forcing any shots. Nobody was looking for their own baskets. They all played well together. That's the most important thing."