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University Of Kentucky
Cats Take It on The Chin For The Third Time
Maybe the SEC sportswriters will now listen to Coach Joe Hall. Preseason predictions pointed toward UK battling it out with LSU for the SEC title in 1985. But after the Indiana contest Saturday, the Wildcats are far from challenging Dale Brown's Tigers for conference supremecy.
Before a national televised audience Indiana handed Kentucky its third straight defeat 81-68 before 17,214 Hoosier fans, the play of UK's guards was a major disappointment. Starters Roger Harden and James Blackmon failed to score. The other UK guards -- Paul Andrews (2), Troy McKinley (0), and Ed Davender (6) -- combined for eight points.
Not since 1976 has UK lost three straight regular season games. Kentucky, which won the Nil in '76, lost three games on the road: Tennessee 92-85, Georgia 86-81, and Vanderbilt 69-65. UK now 1-3, will take on Louisville minus star guard Milt Wagner today at Freedom Hall (8:10 p.m. CDT).
The Win Marks Knight's Ninth Against The Wildcats
Since taking over the IU coaching duties in 1971 the victory was the ninth for Bobby Knight against the Wildcats. The win also earned the 1984 Olympic coach his 400th overall. Knight's record against Kentucky is 9-8 while Hall is 8-8.
First Half Collapse Propells Hoosiers
Kentucky started off well at Assembly Hall. The Wildcats had leads of 4-0 and 7-4 before the Hoosiers took over.
Uwe Blab, Mike Giomi, and Steve Alford added the spark to the Hoosier's first-half surge. With the Hoosiers trailing 7-6 Blab went to work. After IU
easily handled UK's semi-press, freshman Delray Brooks twice spotted Blab underneath. Both times Blab connected as the home team went out in front 10-7.
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Freshman Madison Lock Against Blab
Bret Bearup's contribution in the first half kept Kentucky in the contest. The 6-foot-9 senior scored 12 points on four field goals and was four of four from the charity stripe. He also pulled down seven rebounds, handed out two assists, and had a vicious rejection of a Giomi shot during the first 20 minutes. Bearup's play was the bright spot in the first half, but UK's last 26 seconds were a nightmare.
Freshman Richard Madison's three-point play cut IU's lead to 39-36 with 52 seconds left in the half. After a rebound Alford, due to a UK collapse, found an open Giomi for a layup to widen the margin to five. Kentucky tried to set up a last second shot, however Madison lost control of the ball as Brooks took the pass from Giomi and laid the ball in while the buzzer sounded. First half score: Indiana 43, Kentucky 36.
Giomi led the Hoosiers in scoring during the first half with 13 points followed by Blab with 10. Brooks, who played the entire contest, had six first-half assists.
Walker was whistled for his third foul with 11:06 remaining in the first stanza and sat on the bench until the end of the half. While being double and tripled teamed at times, the 6-8 junior forward tossed in seven first-period points. Madison, Walker's replacement, hit on two of two field goals and three free throws for seven first half points. Indiana outshot the visitors from the field 64 percent to 35 percent. Meanwhile on the boards, Kentucky outrebounded the Hoosiers 21 to 13.
Alford Shows Off His Olympic Talents
Alford, a hustling, sharpshooter in the mold of Coach Knight's guards in past seasons, tooled on the Kentucky 2-3 zone. Time after time in the second half the IU offense would set picks on the Wildcat players freeing Alford for the baseline jumper. The '84 Olympic player took advantage of the situation and burned the nets for four field goals during the opening six minutes of the second half. With 14:47 left IU had opened the margin to nine, 51-42.
The 6-2 sophomore guard hit an unbelievable eight of nine field goals in the second half to aid in the Hoosier runaway. In 39 minutes of action Alford scored 24 points, grabbed six rebounds, and dished out seven assists.
Kentucky Gets No Closer Than Five
The quick start by Indiana in the second half initiated the Red and Cream support. Kentucky got within five, 59-54, when Harden, a former Indiana prep phenom, passed to an open Madison who connected from 20 feet. But the Hoosiers outscored the Cats 18-6 in taking a 77-60 advantage with only 3:12 to play. From a Kentucky point of view, the game was out of control.
During a television timeout the IU cheerleaders took their red IU flag and paraded around the court while the jazzed up Hoosier band played the theme from the Lone Ranger. Hoosier backers were loving every bit of the route.
Kentucky was led in scoring by Walker and Madison with 16 points apiece. Bearup was held to one point in the second half, giving him a total of 13. He also pulled down 11 boards for the game.
Indiana finished the contest with a hot 66 percent from the field. UK shot 41 percent. After being outrebounded in the first half, IU went to the boards strong and finished the contest with 30 rebounds compared to the Wildcats 32.