INDIANAPOLIS – Mike Davis’ Indiana Hoosiers finally found a way to beat Kentucky – by being better inside and tougher on defense.

Marco Killingsworth had 23 points and 11 rebounds, A.J. Ratliff added a career-high 21 points and the Hoosiers’ suffocating defense never gave the 15th-ranked Wildcats a chance as No. 18 Indiana rolled to a 79-53 win over rival Kentucky.

It was Davis’ first victory over Kentucky (6-3) in six tries, and Indiana’s most lopsided win in the 49-game series history. The Hoosiers (5-2) also won for only the second time in 12 meetings.

The Wildcats, who shot 31.1 percent from the field and were 2-of-27 on 3-pointers, were led by Rajon Rondo with 21 points – most coming after the outcome had already been decided.

Defensively, the Hoosiers allowed only 19 first-half points, limited the Wildcats to a season-low point total and forced Kentucky to miss its first 20 3s.

That effort produced predictable results.

Indiana jumped to a 16-8 lead with a 12-2 run, then used a 9-0 spurt to make it 25-12 before closing the half with five straight points to make it 35-19.

The Hoosiers were so strong defensively that they went 7:56 without a basket in the second half and still led by 12. And when the offense did wake up, the Hoosiers scored 12 straight to rebuild a 49-29 lead.

Kentucky never seriously challenged again. A furious 18-6 rally got the Cats within 59-47, but the Wildcats could not get any closer.

Indiana shot 53.3 percent from the field, ending Kentucky’s streak of 31 straight games without an opponent topping 50 percent.

AP-ES-12-10-05 1846EST


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