In reality, the Indiana All-Stars never put them away. The Indiana boys brushed aside Kentucky 88-77 for their 14th consecutive victory in the lopsided series, and the Indiana girls crushed Kentucky 88-58 to complete the second-most one-sided pair of wins in the history of those meetings.
The Indiana boys fought off a bolstered Kentucky squad. Louisville signee Ray Spalding, absent during Indiana’s thrilling 83-80 victory in Lexington, Ky., on Friday night, joined the Bluegrass team and contributed 10 points and 5 rebounds. Indiana answered with 17 points by Princeton recruit Devin Cannady.
Kentucky owned a 33-32 halftime lead and surged to a 44-39 advantage in the second half. But Indiana roared back, capped by a Tahjai Teague breakaway slam, and took a 74-62 lead with 5:06 left. That was enough to finish off Indiana’s 23rd win in the last 24 meetings.
Aric Holman paced Kentucky with 21 points, Dwayne Sutton added 13 points and 9 rebounds, and James Bolden totaled 14 points.
Matt Holba had 16 points and Purdue-bound Ryan Cline had 11 for Indiana, which now holds a 93-42 advantage in the series that started in 1939.
Both teams played without their respective Mr. Basketballs. Kentucky’s Camron Justice, attending summer school at Vanderbilt, was not released to play. Indiana’s Caleb Swanigan, a Purdue recruit, was attending training camp for the national U19 team.
The Indiana girls were able to finish their sweep, and they did it emphatically.
Indiana, a little worn and weary, followed up its 44-point victory in the series opener with another crushing defeat of Kentucky, sweeping the doubleheader for the 14th time with an 88-58 triumph. The back-to-back blowouts were the worst pair of beatings since the girls series started in 1976.
Miss Basketball and Notre Dame recruit Ali Patberg scored 16 points, Michigan State recruit Jenna Allen totaled 14, and spunky guard Darby Maggard added 13.
Indiana had expected Kentucky to respond with pride, with vengeance, with anger following the Friday night flogging in Lexington. But Indiana, loaded with talent, hammered away, relentlessly. The results spoke volumes.
“It’s hard to be disappointed in winning by 30 points against Kentucky,” Indiana coach Mark Holt said. “We’ll take that any time.”
The second win didn’t feature the devastating 29-3 burst of Game 1, but it was similar in that Kentucky was within striking range in the second half, down 39-36 after a layup by Miss Basketball Maci Morris. This time the run was only 12-0. Allen started it with a layup and Texas Tech recruit Zuri Sanders had big plays — an assist to Maggard for a trey and two transition layups.
Indiana cruised from there, pushing out to 20 (72-52) and finally 30. Even the Hoosiers were stunned by their dominance.
“You never think you’re going to beat an All-Star team like that,” said Allen. “I thought it was pretty amazing.”
“I kind of expected us to win,” said Patberg, who added eight rebounds. “But not by 30.”
Kentucky hit only 1 of 25 treys, totaled only 5 assists (after managing only 4 in the first game), and got blasted 62-41 on the boards, so it was predictable — just not acceptable.
“We didn’t really show our true colors last night or tonight,” Sivills said. “We felt like we had the type of guards to get hot in both games. But when you shoot like that, it doesn’t matter what kind of talent you have, you’re not going to win.”
Morris, a University of Kentucky recruit, had 14 points and 11 rebounds while Alexis Brewer also totaled 14 points.
Sanders finished with 10 points. Indiana now leads the series 45-35 with four straight wins, and 33 in the last 46 meetings.