- Saturday, February 14 2009 -
Kentucky - 79 (Head Coach: Billy Gillispie) - [Unranked]
|A. J. Stewart||8||1||2||1||1||0||0||1||2||3||2||0||0||1||0||3|
Arkansas - 63 (Head Coach: John Pelphrey) - [Unranked]
Halftime Score: Kentucky 40, Arkansas 29
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Florida 68 - 65|||||Vanderbilt 64 - 77|
Game Writeup - Written by Matt May; Courtesy of The Cats Pause, (All Rights Reserved)
Cats ride Meeks' 45
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Batman may have been without Robin but that didn't stop the superhero from riding to the rescue yet again.
Jodie Meeks put on another super-human performance, dropping 45 points to carry Kentucky past Arkansas 79-63 despite star forward Patrick Patterson sitting out with a sprained ankle. It was Meeks' third 45-plus point game of the season but may have been his most impressive given Patterson's absence.
"He's like halfway human," freshman forward Darius Miller said.
You won't get any argument from Arkansas, not after Meeks set a Bud Walton Arena record for points, breaking the 39 former Hogs' sharpshooter Alex Dillard rang up in a 1993 game. It was the second time the Cats' junior guard redefined the scoring standard in an opposing Southeastern Conference gym this season, joining his school-record 54 points at Tennessee on Jan. 13.
"History," junior guard Michael Porter said when asked if he was aware of what Meeks has been doing. "It's definitely something to tell your kids about one day. He's playing out of his mind, actually, maybe it is in his mind because you have to believe you can do it."
The win capped an impressive week for the Cats, who got a game-winner from Meeks to beat Florida earlier and then traveled to one of the league's toughest home court environments and were never really threatened after halftime. In fact, once the Cats broke a 2-2 tie they held the lead for the final 37:48, including the last 27 minutes in double digits.
"I thought it was the most important thing our team did other than play hard," UK coach Billy Gillispie said. "(Arkansas) is a very young team and I've seen them get up on Oklahoma by 25 points and they're very capable of some runs.
"We told them it was going to be very important to expect their best punch in the mouth right at the start of the game because they are young and looking for something good to happen. You have to put your foot on the throttle and can't let them get any confidence."
Meeks, as expected, had a heavy hand in that right from the outset. He buried two jumpers and a three-pointer in transition before three minutes had transpired, added another triple and a four-point play a few minutes later and then drew an intentional foul three-point play on a run out near the end of his 22-point half.
Oh yeah, he added 23 after the break.
"He was fantastic," Gillispie said. "I didn't know he had that many points. I knew he had 22 at halftime and that meant we probably had 24. He was great. I don't know how you explain it. I have not ever seen anything quite like what he has done for our team this year because we need him so badly."
Even Arkansas coach John Pelphrey, who played with shooting savant Derrick Miller during his career at UK, was impressed.
"We were just another defense left in his wake," Pelphrey said.
For all anyone knows that may have just been exhaust from the Batmobile.
A.J. Stewart (#15) blocks the shot of Arkansas' Stefan Welsh as Ramon Harris (#5) helps out
Michael Britt can only watch as Jodie Meeks shoots
Jodie Meeks (#23) puts an exclamation point on the victory with a two-handed tomahawk