BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana took its best shot at No. 4 Kentucky on Saturday.
The Wildcats retaliated with a shrug and a knockout punch in a 90-73 victory.
John Wall got the offense in sync, setting up a decisive 18-0 second-half run that gave the Wildcats their first win in Bloomington since 1981. It was just what Kentucky coach John Calipari thought his team needed.
"What I was so happy about is how Indiana came out and tried to run us off the floor and made every shot and just played with unbelievable energy," Calipari said. "We played well. I just want to tell the people of Indiana: We're not better than that."
Calipari was so impressed with his team's effort he credited it with a win on his personal log, which lists Kentucky at 5-5. Officially, the Wildcats are 10-0, off to their best start since 1992-93, and Calipari has matched the best start for a first-year Kentucky coach since Adolph Rupp in 1930-31.
Kentucky moved within two wins of becoming the first Division I school with 2,000 all-time victories and, perhaps more importantly to Calipari, proved they could fight back when challenged.
Wall, the freshman with the mesmerizing moves, adapted by doing more of the dirty work Saturday. He finished with 11 points, eight below his average, eight assists and seven rebounds.
Another freshman, Eric Bledsoe, led Kentucky with 23 points, including four 3-pointers, and junior forward Patrick Patterson scored 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. It was Patterson's fifth double-double of the season.
NO. 25 MISSISSIPPI 83
MCNEESE STATE 67
At Oxford, Miss., Chris Warren scored 20 points and Eniel Polynice had all 12 of his points and four steals during the final 10 minutes to rally Mississippi to a victory against McNeese State.
The Rebels (8-1) trailed by as many as 15 points early in the second half of their first game since entering the Top 25, but they used defense to blow past the Cowboys in the closing minutes.
MISSISSIPPI STATE 72, UCLA 54
At Anaheim, Calif., Ravern Johnson scored a career-high 29 points, Jarvis Varnado blocked seven shots and Mississippi State rolled past UCLA in the Wooden Classic.
Varnado also had 13 points and 11 rebounds as the Bulldogs (7-2) won their fourth straight, taking a 21-point lead at halftime and cruising to their first victory against UCLA.
NORTH CAROLINA STATE 75
GEORGIA SOUTHERN 57
At Raleigh, Tracy Smith scored 21 points on 10-of-12 shooting to lead North Carolina State to a victory against Georgia Southern.
Dennis Horner had 16 points, nine rebounds and six assists for the Wolfpack (7-1), who shot 64.7 percent and had five players in double figures.
EASTERN KENTUCKY 72
At College Park, Md., Greivis Vasquez scored 20 points in a reserve role, Landon Milbourne had 19, and Maryland outlasted stubborn Eastern Kentucky.
Eric Hayes added 16 points for Maryland (6-3). The Terrapins never trailed but couldn't pull away from the pesky Colonels (7-3) until Hayes hit a 3-pointer to spark a game-ending 11-4 run.
NO. 11 NORTH CAROLINA 103
At Chapel Hill, N.C., Ed Davis had 20 points and 10 rebounds to help North Carolina beat Presbyterian.
Deon Thompson added 19 points for the Tar Heels (8-2), who had no trouble beating up on a team picked to finish last in the Big South.
Chase Holmes scored a career-high 29 points for Presbyterian (2-8).
VIRGINIA TECH 66, PENN STATE 64
At State College, Pa., Malcolm Delaney scored 11 of his 27 points during a key second-half stretch and Virginia Tech benefited from Penn State's poor foul shooting in a win.