High School Basketball

Teamwork denies Hoosiers sweep

LOUISVILLE — The long losing streak to Indiana ended in a big way for the Kentucky All-Stars.

The Hoosiers had eked out a win on Friday over Kentucky, making it eight straight victories for Indiana, but they hit a buzzsaw on Sunday at Louisville Gardens.

Behind five players in double figures, Kentucky led from opening tip to the final horn and downed Indiana 95-78 for the Bluegrass state's biggest win in the series since 1997.

“I've been around a long time and I've seen a lot of Indiana All-Star games and that is one of the most talented Kentucky teams I've seen in a long, long time,” Indiana Coach Rick Baumgartner said.

It was time for a sigh of relief for Kentucky's players, who were regularly reminded last week of the lopsided history and recent painful losses.

They didn't want to be yet another Kentucky team swept by Indiana.

“I'm glad we came out and represented Kentucky well,” Mr. Basketball Darius Miller said. “We just wanted to come out and leave it all on the floor and do our best.”

Miller had 13 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three steals for the Bluegrass boys.

Tyler Brown led all Kentuckians with 19 points, including making five of his six three-point attempts in the first half.

He went scoreless in the first game at Indianapolis on Friday night.

Brown scored 10 of Kentucky's first 16 points and helped the team grab a 20-11 lead early.

“He got us off to a good start,” Kentucky Coach Tim Davis said of Brown, who is headed for Morehead. “There were a couple of times he shot and I was yelling, ‘no, no, no' and then it would go in.”

Shelvin Mack of Bryan Station and Victor Moses of Henry Clay each scored 16 points for Kentucky.

“I'm glad the way it ended this time,” said Mack, who also had six rebounds and four assists.

After turning the ball over 29 times at Indiana on Friday, Kentucky kept control this time around, only coughing it up 15 times.

“We never panicked or got out of control with it,” Miller said. “We made a lot of good decisions.”

Kentucky's ever-changing and aggressive defense forced 19 Indiana turnovers.

Indiana was able to cut Kentucky's 51-38 halftime lead to eight points with 14 minutes to go on a Tyler Zeller shot in the lane. The North Carolina signee had 16 points and 10 rebounds for Indiana.

But Kentucky responded with a 23-8 run. Eight different players scored during that spree.

“I'm real proud of these guys,” Davis said. “They played together, which is hard to do when you bring 12 all-stars together like that.”

Any time Indiana would get close, Kentucky would flip to a 2-3 zone that kept the Hoosiers off balance.

“We couldn't hit our shots,” Zeller said. “I hate losing.”

Indiana was led by Larry Stone Jr., who had 24 points. Zack Novak added 10 points and five rebounds.

Baumgartner was unhappy with what he called a disparity at the free-throw line. Kentucky shot 22 more than Indiana, but he didn't want to use that as an excuse.

“That's kind of frustrating when you go out and try to play aggressive from a defensive standpoint and you get called for fouls,” he said. But he didn't want to take anything away from Kentucky.

He said Indiana should feel fortunate that it was able to steal a win from this Kentucky team on Friday night.

“You're going to hear from some of their players — without question — in the future,” Baumgartner said. “They've got a lot of guys who can do a lot of things.”