9:00 PM ET, January 13, 2009
Thompson-Boling Arena, Knoxville, TN
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Jodie Meeks was just trying to get a victory. He didn't fathom having a chance at earning a spot among Kentucky's greatest players.Meeks scored a school-record 54 points to help Kentucky cruise to a 90-72 win over Tennessee on Tuesday night.
UK Single-Game Scoring Mark
Dan Issel had one of the great seasons in Kentucky history in 1969-70. Jodie Meeks is rivaling that after breaking his single-
game scoring record on Tuesday.
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boggling," he said. "I was just out there playing to win."Meeks, who broke Issel's 39-year-old record of 53 points set at Mississippi, was mobbed by his Kentucky teammates in the middle of the Thompson-Boling Arena court, where the Wildcats (13-4, 2-0 SEC) handed the Volunteers their third loss in January.The Southeastern Conference's leading scorer surpassed his previous high of 46 points, which he set Dec. 20 against Appalachian State, with 4:50 left as he hit an open 3, one of 10 3-pointers he would make for the night. He set the record with free throws with 1:31 left.Interviewed Wednesday morning on ESPN First Take, Meeks said he hadn't spoken yet to Issel but did receive a voice message from the Kentucky great."He left congratulations and said he'd be pulling for me all season," said Meeks, adding that congratulatory text and voice messages he's received have exceeded 200.Meeks entered the game ranked fourth in the nation in scoring with an average 24.2 points per game."I have never seen anything like it," Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie said. "Jodie Meeks had 46 against Appalachian State, and they are a nice team, but not near a team the quality of Tennessee and on the home court."The 54 points was also the biggest individual SEC performance since Chris Jackson's 55 for LSU against Mississippi in 1989."There have been so many great players -- this is the greatest basketball tradition in the world at the collegiate level -- and to be able to put your name up there with some of those greats is quite an accomplishment," Gillispie said.Down by 4 at the half, Tennessee (10-5, 1-1) cut Kentucky's lead to 43-41 on a fastbreak basket by Wayne Chism a minute and a half into the second half.
| The latest Instant Classic will feature Kentucky vs Tennessee with a focus on Jodie Meeks. Wednesday, 6 p.m. ET|
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||30-53 (.566)||25-66 (.379)|
|3P Made-Attempted||12-19 (.632)||6-23 (.261)|
|FT Made-Attempted||18-20 (.900)||16-26 (.615)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||20 (0/0)||17 (0/0)|