UK Men's Basketball

UK delivers 'shock and awe'

LOUISVILLE — Appalachian State became just the second team to outrebound Kentucky this season.

The Mountaineers won Saturday's battle of the boards 42-34 in Freedom Hall. They outscored the Wildcats in the paint (28-24) and off second-chance shots (16-6), but that wasn't nearly enough.

"When teams are scoring like Kentucky did, then you have to score with them," said Houston Fancher, the Appalachian State coach. "I thought we did a better job of that in the second half. They played their starters in the second half, and we were able to move the ball and score. I just never really think that we were able to get by the original shock and awe that we went through in the first half."

UK had outrebounded nine of its 10 previous foes by an average of 8.2 per game. Delaware State outboarded the Cats 31-30 but lost the game 71-42.

'Early Christmas present'

Jodie Meeks' 46 points are the most scored by an Appalachian State opponent this season and the most by a Southeastern Conference player. East Tennessee State's Kevin Tiggs scored 31 against the Mountaineers a week earlier.

"It feels great," Meeks said of putting his name among UK's scoring legends. "When you have a tradition that Kentucky has it is a great honor to score that many points. I will cherish this moment. Christmas is coming up, so maybe this is an early Christmas present. The main thing for me is to get a win and getting to share it with my teammates."

Meeks' 46 points were the most ever by a Wildcat in Freedom Hall, surpassing the 42 Mike Pratt scored against Notre Dame on Dec. 27, 1969, in a 102-100 UK victory.

Defense, defense

You can't win if you can't score. For a second game in a row, UK held its opponent scoreless for more than five minutes to start the game. Appalachian State didn't score until the 14:47 mark. A week earlier, Indiana's first points came at the 13:32 mark.

Isaac Butts, Appalachian's 6-foot-10, 285-pound sophomore, came into the game averaging a double-double of 11.4 points and 11.4 rebounds. After a scoreless first half, he finished the game with six points and six rebounds.

"They pressured the ball a lot more than we've seen," Butts said. "They have bigger athletes than we've played this year, but we still threw the ball away too much. If we would have taken our time (on offense) things might have turned out better for us."

Milestone for Gillispie

Saturday marked Billy Gillispie's 200th game as a collegiate head coach. Including stops at Texas-El Paso and Texas A&M, he is 126-74 overall in his seventh season and 26-16 at UK.

UK numbers

■ The Wildcats have won their past three games and eight of nine.

■ UK's overall record against present members of the Southern Conference is now 18-0.

■ UK is 120-32 all-time in Louisville, including 57-17 in Freedom Hall.

■ UK extended its streak of made three-pointers to 684 games. That's the third-longest streak going, trailing only UNLV and Vanderbilt.

■ Season high-water marks set by UK on Saturday included 11 steals and 95 percent (19-for-20) free-throw success. The Cats matched their season high by blocking 12 shots.

■ Career-high performances came from UK's Kevin Galloway (four rebounds), DeAndre Liggins (three steals), Darius Miller (two steals) and A.J. Stewart (nine points).

■ Michael Porter tied his season-best total of five assists.

■ Patrick Patterson extended his streak of double-digit scoring to eight games. His 19 points included a 7-for-7 effort at the free-throw line, his third perfect game from the stripe this season.

■ Perry Stevenson has blocked shots in his past 12 games (going back to last season). He also knocked down his first career three-pointer Saturday.

■ After averaging 23 turnovers through six games, UK's average in December is just more than 16 per game. Saturday's first-half total of three turnovers set a season-best.

■ With a 5-1 edge in dunks Saturday, UK's season advantage climbs to 51-8.