LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Marquis Teague was bound and determined to make a play. The Pike graduate took the inbound pass with 15.7 seconds to go, brought it up to the top of the key, then jab-stepped and crossed over Remy Abell until he had enough space to elevate.
When he finally did, he scored a win for his home state against the commonwealth where he’s soon to play his college basketball. The Kentucky signee’s 18-footer over Abell gave the Indiana All-Stars a 105-103 win over the Kentucky All-Stars at Bellarmine University on Friday night, finishing a comeback in a game his squad trailed by as many as 12 points.
“I’d been missing the whole game,” Teague said. “I just wanted to come down and make a play, whatever he gave me. He gave me the pull-up, so I just shot it and knocked it down. … It wasn’t like, in my brain I was going to shoot it, but he sagged off, so I shot it.”
Abell, the Indiana signee, had put forth a game effort on Teague for most of the evening. Teague scored 18 points, but needed 20 shots to get there while turning the ball over seven times. Abell knew he was most devastating on the dribble drive, so he was guarding against that and forcing Teague to shoot over top of him.
It just so happened that it worked at the wrong time for Abell.
“Teague hit a big shot,” Abell said. “Big players make big shots. I gave him the jump shot most of the time the whole game, because he just wanted to drive, but he took another jump shot. I contested it the best I could.”
Abell, the newest member of the Indiana recruiting class, struggled from the field but was still productive. He shot 2-of-10, but was 7-for-8 from the line and knocked down a crucial 3-pointer in the final 3 minutes. He finished with 12 points.
Indiana was behind for most of the ballgame thanks in large part to the foul trouble suffered by Washington forward and Indiana signee Cody Zeller. He picked up three fouls in the first half and then grabbed his fourth 21 seconds into the second half. He finished with nine points and nine rebounds in 20 minutes after posting double-doubles in both Junior-Senior All-Star games.
“Coach told us coming down here we weren’t going to get any calls,” Zeller said. “I caught a few bad breaks, but I guess that’s basketball. I just wanted to stay in the game. I was ready to go back in, just being encouraging on the bench and being ready when my number was called.”
Kentucky shot 51.3 percent from the field in the first half to take a 54-46 advantage, as forwards Zach Price (Louisville signee), George Fant III (Western Kentucky) and Ryan Taylor (undecided) took advantage of Zeller’s absence and foul trouble.
Indiana roared back in the second half, however, thanks in large part to the brilliant shooting of Center Grove’s Andrew Smeathers. He scored 21 points on 5-for-7 shooting, knocking down four of his five 3-pointers and seven of his eight free throws.
Indiana also instituted a 2-3 zone to protect Zeller. It also clogged the lane, cutting down on Kentucky’s drives and post touches.
Smeathers hit a huge 3-pointer with 22.2 seconds to go to put Indiana up 103-100. Kentucky answered with a 3-pointer by Anthony Hickey, the state’s Mr. Basketball and an LSU recruit. However, Teague’s last shot left Kentucky with just 0.9 seconds to try for a miracle, and Hickey’s heave came up short.
Indiana got 17 points and 13 rebounds from Branden Dawson, a Lew Wallace forward and Michigan State signee. Warsaw’s Nic Moore, an Illinois State signee, added 16 points.
Hamilton Heights guard Austin Etherington didn’t see much of the court. He scored one point in nine minutes of action, shooting 0-for-2 from the field. He grabbed four rebounds, however.
Kentucky got 19 points and eight assists from Hickey, 18 points from Fant and 17 points from Taylor.
The second game of the series it at Indianapolis’s Conseco Fieldhouse at 7 p.m.